The past decade has seen the rise of the Indian electronica scene within India and no single band has had more influence on its growth than the Midival Punditz. The Delhi based duo Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj have been sighted as pioneers of a scene that has ushered in some of the freshest global music out of India. As India's influence on the world through music, film and fashion proves to be ever growing, the Punditz have kept their hands on the wheel and have helped steer this ship into a new century of sound and culture.
Gaurav and Tapan realized that Western dance music wasn't connecting with them on the same emotional level as India's own classical and folk music - so they decided to do something about it. In 1997, after several years of work setting up their own studio in New Delhi, the two producers launched the Punditz. Gigs with Tabla Beat Science, the Indo-electronica act founded by producer Bill Laswell and tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, put the duo on the map. They honed their vision with a series of events called Cyber Mehfil - a modern update on an ancient north Indian tradition of artistic gatherings. The original mehfil could include music, poetry, and/or dance. The Cyber Mehfil brought the sounds of modern electronica to the traditional music of the subcontinent, while adding visuals and incense to entice the other senses as well.
The Midival Punditz have since become the most in-demand producers and remixers in India, with remix credits for some of the biggest Bollywood soundtracks such as the 2008 blockbusters Don & Chake De and most recently composing the background score to Karthik Calling Karthik with Karsh Kale. They have also licensed music to some of the hottest Hollywood films like Closer and hit TV shows such as Prison Break and Six Feet Under. The Punditz along with longtime collaborator Karsh Kale were one of the first Indian acts to feature on the cover of the Rolling Stone (India). They have shattered attendance records of some of India's most venerable clubs such as Mumbai's Blue Frog and have become the foremost ambassadors of India's rapidly growing alternative and electronic music scene around the world.
Over the span of their career the duo have released three formidable albums, always breaking new ground with each one. In 2002 they released their first album Midival Punditz with Six Degrees Records in the US, becoming the first Indian electronica artists to release on an international label. This debut launched them into the global electronica stratosphere and was widely critically acclaimed in India and around the world. The follow up album Midival Times released in 2005 further cemented their position as Indi-electro pioneers. The Punditz have moved from strength to strength and 2009 saw the release of Hello Hello. The album encompasses all the varied worlds in which they exist and ties them together through a sound that brings International Electronica, Global Pop, Indian Classical and Folk with modern day song writing. The result is a sound like no other, one that is uniquely Midival Punditz, even earning them a spot on Amazon's top picks for 2009.
Of course, this all plays well in the clubs of Mumbai and New Delhi but Midival Punditz have also become a genuinely international band, attracting critical acclaim in Europe and the States while performing their high-energy live show at festivals such as Glastonbury and selling out venues from New York to San Francisco. Collaborations with rising star Anoushka Shankar, "it" Bollywood composers Salim & Sulaiman, Sting, Norah Jones, and countless others in India and abroad have cemented their reputation as both talented producers and musical visionaries. They are part of a remarkable infusion of Indian culture around the world. The stage is set: it's a world on Shuffle, and Midival Punditz is on the play list.