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Just Beat It

When this five-member band from Austria packs its bags for world tours,members never have to worry about lugging drum kits or guitars with them.

When this five-member band from Austria packs its bags for world tours,members never have to worry about lugging drum kits or guitars with them. They just pack their microphones and they’re done. Bauchklang doesn’t use any instruments while performing — they amplify various sounds — bass lines,percussions and vocal — relying entirely on their vocal chords. In music lingo,this form of music is referred to as beat boxing.

“Our philosophy is to get different voices and emphasise on what the voices can do,” says Philipp Sageder,who does the backing vocals,mouth percussion and other vocal sounds for the group whose members are aged between 25 and 35 years. Alex Böck does the vocal bass,while Gerald Huber and Bina take care of the entire beat section — the snare and bass drum,cymbals and hi hats. Andreas Fränzl does the lead vocals.

“Beat boxing is only a part of our vocal group project. As a band we wanted to explore a capella and do something innovative,” says Sageder. Bauchklang’s songs and grooves extend from hip hop to house,techno and break beats. “Beat boxing originated from hip hop but we don’t label our compositions as just hip hop. Our musical genre is as diverse as our respective influences,since all of us listen to different kinds of music,” adds Sageder. From Indian classical sounds of Ustad Zakir Hussain to the pop treats of ABBA,there has been a lot of variety in their compositions.

Formed 12 years ago,Bauchklang has released three albums in the past and travelled across continents. When they visited Mumbai in February last year for the first time,the band didn’t think their fourth album was going to stem from the same city only a year later. “We returned to Mumbai in January this year and got an opportunity to play three nights in a row. All of that came together in our latest album,” says Sageder. Their fourth compilation titled Bauchklang: Live in Mumbai, released yesterday at Mumbai’s Blue Frog,where the band has kick-started their week-long Indian tour,organised by Blue Frog and Tuborg. 

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While the band got singers Shilpa Rao and musician Vivek Rajagopalan to blend their vocals onto their tracks early this year,one number with Rajagopalan,called the Session featuring Vivek Rajagopalan,has also found its way into the 11-track album.

The Bauchklang will perform at Elevate on July 18. For more information visit http://www.bluefrogsounds.com or http://www.bauchklang.com

First published on: 16-07-2009 at 12:22:32 am
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