Hang Massive, the duo behind the popularization of the hang instrument after their first YouTube video, Once Again, went viral, were on yet another India tour, and this time we got the chance to catch up with them.
Though Danny Cudd is from the UK and Markus Offbeat is from Sweden, both of them are no strangers to India, having lived in Goa 6 months a year, for about the last 15 years. It was there that they first met each other and went on to form the phenomenon that is Hang Massive. But they both have their personal histories with the hang.
Back when the instrument was still unknown to most people, they came across it by chance after seeing strangers playing it (Cudd at a festival, and Offbeat on the street). But they must’ve felt a deep connection to the instrument, however instant; it takes a trip all the way to Switzerland to just get it, and then a whole lot of effort to master it. Even after writing a few songs together, playing them live was no easy feat at first — the pair had to sit down and spend a lot of time and effort to figure out how to amplify the sound of the instrument in order to give their fans a good sound.
The duo’s writing is, for the most part, spontaneous. Cudd puts it this way: “Someone has an idea, it gets developed, and eventually something sticks.” While that’s always worked for them, the introduction of Victoria Grebezs on vocals on their latest album, Distant Light, has added a whole new dimension in their songs. While Grebezs wasn’t able to make it for this India tour, she often goes on tour with them, playing the hang on stage as well.
Apart from the acoustic hang, Hang Massive always has some electronic elements in their set. Their recent show in blueFROG, Bangalore was a DJ set, with pieces from around the around. Either for the love of their music or for curiosity about the obscure instrument, a lot of people always turn up for their shows. And if you missed them this time, don’t worry — after their Europe tour, the duo will be playing again in India at the end of this year, this time hopefully with Grebezs.