If you’re familiar with Peter Cat Recording Co and Begum, but have never heard of Jamblu, the music you’re going to hear will come as a surprise. Jamblu is the dark and introspective solo venture of Kartik Pillai, PCRC’s guitarist/keyboardist and Begum’s vocalist/guitarist.
When asked about the origins of Jamblu, he says, “It was created in 2007 under no alias. Later on as my body of work grew it seemed necessary to give it a name. It’s always been an ongoing experiment with soundscapes and rhythm patterns, motifs of suppression and release, that’s what drew me into it.”
His music pushes the thresholds of ambient music, all the while flirting with the quotidian sinister, forcing listeners to stop and pay attention. We asked about his target audience and the response to his music so far, and what he had to say is, “I firmly believe my music is for me. I’m not too sure about how it’s been received. I’m lucky enough to have friends who are continuously working to portray experimental ventures (like the Listening Room) and thus giving me an environment to thrive in.”
Like any artist, Kartik likes the touring experience, and says that he owes his motivation to create, experiment and learn, to the fact that he’s been able to connect with so many amazing musicians and people on tour. Some of his most memorable experiences include:
- hanging out with musicians like HVAD, Torturing Nurse, and Chachy,
- witnessing groups of Danish citizens defy government and police orders to go out of their way to help Syrian refugees,
- cycling around an island with his face covered in blueberries,
- loitering on the streets of Chengdu,
- inspecting radioactive suicide necklaces, and
- experiencing incredible hospitality.
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Kartik Pillai is also a multi-instrumentalist, explaining that if he wants to produce certain sounds, not knowing an instrument shouldn’t be a hindrance to that. The sheer number of instruments that he’s mastered might put off other musicians but he insists that “it’s all about practice and technique. An instrument is a tool and it must be treated as such.”
With such vast knowledge and a deep understanding of music, he wields it like a weapon, and it’s no wonder, since it holds a lot of significance for him. “Music to me is art and art to me is life (and vice versa),” he says. “I at all times need to create and execute whatever it is that catches my fancy, whatever be its form.”
Listen to TDFDTU in its entirety here: