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Indian Ocean

Folk Rock Band from Delhi

Photos


Profile

In 1984, Susmit Sen met Asheem during a concert. He was a fan of Niharika - a Bengali band Asheem played tabla for. They hit it off right away. Asheem was taken up by Susmit's guitar-playing and his vision to evolve a new sound. Susmit, in turn, learnt the nuances of rhythm from Asheem.
For the next 3 years, every now and then, they jammed as a duo, Susmit on guitar and Asheem on tabla and drums - no vocals anywhere in sight. After a memorable debut concert at Roorkee, there was only the occasional stray performance.
In 1990, Susmit sold his electric guitar to raise money for a demo recording of their band, by now called Indian Ocean (Susmit's dad suggested the name). With Shaleen Sharma on drums, and Indrajit Dutta and Anirban Roy on bass, they recorded the demo, taping an incredible 45 minutes and 7 songs in 1 day. Despite the rushed recording, the quality of the demo tape impressed HMV enough to offer them an album deal. In 1991, Rahul Ram, a schoolmate of Susmit's, joined the band,they both did their schooling from St.Xaviers,Delhi and replacing Anirban on bass.
But, much to the band's frustration, the album took a year to get released. But when it did come out, it sold over 40,000 copies within a year of its release - at that time, the highest selling record by any Indian band ever.
In 1994, drummer Shaleen left the band. Amit Kilam, barely out of his teens and, in fact, still taking his college exams, took his place. This has been the line-up since then: Susmit, Asheem, Rahul and Amit.


Members

Susmit Sen (guitar)

Susmit has virtually invented a new style of playing the guitar, an uncannily Indian sound where purity of scale reigns, strong melodic lines woven around the drone of open strings. His guitar style forms the basis of Indian Ocean's sound. Susmit's personal vision is towards finding a new vocabulary for his music. His virtuoso talent never overshadows the big picture, but serves the song immaculately, strengthening it, embellishing it, giving it a distinct character.

Asheem Chakravarty (tabla, percussions and vocals)

Asheem (1957-2009) showed his rhythmic ability at an early age, surprising musicians who learned that he never had any formal training. He quit a career in advertising, along with Susmit Sen to form Indian Ocean, where he played the tabla, tarang and other percussion instruments while also being band's vocalist. Indian Ocean fans call him "the man with the golden voice". Asheem sang and played the tabla simultaneously, a difficult feat rare by Indian percussionists. Asheem's rhythm structures were unique and contributed a large part to Indian Ocean's signature sound. He improvised vocal lines while on stage and was innovative with traditional Indian percussion instruments. Asheem was brought up in an atmosphere of Indian classical, folk and other Indian forms.
Asheem was hospitalized in Doha after suffering a heart attack in October and was in a state of coma for a brief period, but was recovering well. He died after suffering a cardiac arrest in New Delhi in the afternoon on the 25th of December 2009. He is survived by wife Sunita Chakravarty and 14-year-old son, Ekansh Chakravarty.

Amit Kilam (drums, percussions and vocals)

Amit's drumming is a balance between the conventional and non-conventional. Largely self-taught, he believes in layering rhythm rather than a heavy drum layer, since he believes in simplicity, not technical wizardry, thus becoming the backbone of the solid sound that the band has. He incorporates Indian rhythms into his drumming in a unique fashion, moving in cycles of 8, 10, 12 14, 16, rather than simple 4/4 or 3/4 styles. Not a "psychotic drummer", he goes easy on the skins, yet his playing is very dynamic. Was introduced to music at the age of 4 by his parents, learning the guitar (Hawaiian - Indian classical). He is an instinctive musician, picking up several instruments very easily, and he sings also. Loves listening to various kinds of music - Hindi filmi, rock, pop - favorites are A R Rahman, Trilok Gurtu and Deep Purple.

Rahul Ram (bass guitar and vocals)

Rahul's bass playing moves smoothly - from melodic enmeshing with vocal and guitar lines to the more standard laying of foundations over which the band soars. His stage presence is an essential part of Indian Ocean's live concerts. His vocals have a power and edge that emphasizes the folk roots of the band. Rahul also does most of the talking at live shows. His experiences as an activist/supporter with the Narmada Bachao Andolan (1990-1995) and during his four years studying in the US have exposed him to a variety of musical styles from all over India and the world, and have strongly influenced his musical expression. Rahul has PhD in Environmental Toxicology from Cornell University in New York (1986-90). In recent year, Rahul Ram went to America to learn to play the alto-sax, which he intends to bring to the bands music.
Rahul and Asheem have also sung 'Yaara Maula' in a Anurag's Kashayap 'Gulaal' , a Hindi movie based on politics.

Himanshu Joshi (vocals) & Tuheen Chakravarty (Tabla and Indian percussions)

Himanshu Joshi fills in for Asheem's vocals, While Tuheen plays the Tabla and other Indian percussion that Asheem played.


Tech Rider

4 Business Class + 5 Economy,
4 double rooms and 1 single


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