Strange Frequencies, Sweet Music


Music, I have always felt, is an art; an art form which calls for continuous experimentation and innovation. Privy to the staleness that seems to have crept into the regional music scene, I seriously feel that our homegrown acts need to develop their own brand of sound, even if it might be at a very raw level, to prove their mettle in the national level and even beyond. Besides helping them carve a niche of their own, this would also add to the development of world music, which I believe is going to be the next big thing in this corner of the world. This can be gauged by the success of regional bands and musicians like Abiogenesis, Lama Tashi and Warklung, to name a few, whose musical pursuits have even transcended international boundaries.

At this juncture, I would like to talk about Strange Frequency – a three price outfit from Shillong, which is working on a new brand of instrumental music with a line-up comprising three bassists and a drummer. Led by seasoned session player Larry and Noel, this closely knit trio is a surely a welcome change from the bands of Shillong, who basically have a rock centric outlook. Both Larry and Noel, who are prolific musicians in their own right, have been accompanying other bands for a long time now; Strange Frequency, however, is the first band that they have themselves conceived.

Strange Frequency came about in 2006 with Larry on the bass and Noel on the drums. Reminiscing about the formation, Larry says, “I would not deny admitting that Strange Frequency started with the remains of Agape. Along with the support, zeal and cooperation of Noel, we made our first attempt at a Kuki festival here in Guwahati – the 7th Chavang Kut festival 2006.”

The band is basically a collective of a drummer and three bassists who play the bass guitar on three different frequencies. Highly innovative and original, the music of Strange Frequency is melodic and catches on to you immediately. They had recently bowled over the hearts of Guwahatians with their performance at ‘Virtuoso in Concert’ – the international music concert organized to mark the formal launch of the Rockarolla Music Society. Strange Frequency, when it was first conceived, was essentially a two-piece outfit, comprising Larry and Noel. As time passed, the idea arose of incorporating more bassists working on different frequencies. In the words of Larry, “With the coming of Rupert in the band, the idea of more bassists popped up. Rupert, again, had the better idea of having three bass guitars in the band and accordingly, Gideon joined us to form Strange Frequency, as it stands today.”

Though the band is pretty confident of their present line-up and the members are against tampering with it, they also want to keep experimenting. “Strange Frequency is always open to working with newer and better ideas. We might bring new instruments, new musical styles, fresh musical patterns – we don’t know, but the experimentation will continue,” says Noel. Herein I should mention about both Larry and Noel’s penchant for experimentation. Talented musicians themselves, both have a penchant for experimentation and improvisation which, I believe, is the hallmark of all successful musicians. While Noel is highly creative with the drumsticks, Larry guides the band like a true front-man.

With an eclectic brand of music and an eye for bigger, larger platforms, Strange Frequency is surely one band which will appeal to the western music lovers of the country. I am sure bright days await this collective!

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Posted on January 15, 2010, in Concerts/ Reviews, Musicians/ Bands, Taking NE sounds to the world and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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