FIVE FAVOURITES: Sandunes

Mumbai-based producer Sandunes (aka Sanaya Aredeshir) has focused less on musical technicality, and more on emotional catharsis on her latest EP, Spare Some Time. While for some this decision might compromise high production standards, that’s not the case here. Spare Some Time is a polished, calming, electronic mediation on the necessity of expressing emotion. The four track creation is an aural salve for overwhelmed ears, flowing with shimmering synth textures and soothing beats that remind listeners to take stock of the love in their lives.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Sandunes to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that influenced her writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to listen to Sandunes’ track ‘Love It Less’ & her new EP at the end of this post.

 

1. Bonobo – Dial M for Monkey
There was a phase when I was a college student in Bombay, where these tunes soundtracked life as we graduated from conformity into rebellion. My very first experiences of freedom or independence are so intertwined with this album, and it does that thing of physically transporting me to a blurry and beautiful time from a previous life, where with a group of friends in a beach town by the ocean, we woke up and fell asleep to this record for days on end. There is something so mystical, innocent and whimsical about it, and it is also what inspired me to start producing my own music. (I’d highly recommend this for nighttime winding down routines.)

2. The Books – The Lemon of Pink
This is another one I keep returning to. I think the idea of composing music from a formulaic place is usually looked at negatively, but the concept with this body of work was extremely gripping, and so well executed. I fell in love with the way this sound collage unfolded, and the combination of textures, tones and samples really inspired my awareness towards found sound in my environment. (I’d highly recommend this for long drives out of the city.)

3. Air – Moon Safari
Another piece of nostalgia in this album. I think the meaning of the term “classic” varies for each of us, and to me Moon Safari is just that. Also another sound track from a previous life, this one laid the foundation for all things trip-hop and definitely inspired some songwriting, attention to detailed production, and synthesis! I remember having an “Aha!” moment with ‘Remember’ at some point when I realised what I loved about the tune was all the synths. (I’d highly recommend this for the backdrop of your next potluck…in a post pandemic world when you can dine with all your friends again!)

3. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
I have had many walks, many drives, and shed many tears to this album. There is something so pure, honest and organic about how these songs have been written and recorded. It cuts through the clutter and hits the emotional nail straight on the head. I remember finding it especially gentle on the ears after listening to a lot of over-produced electronic music, going back to vocal harmonies and guitars feels like balm to the soul. (I’d highly recommend this for your next hike/solo trail up a mountain.)

4. 30/70 – Fluid Motion
A more recent addition to this list and what I’m currently listening to. I love everything about this album. I find it bold, I love the choices, the musicianship, and I love how the artistry with regard to musical skill meets production and delivery so well. Each time I listened, I felt like there was so much scope to absorb something new that was happening.
(I’d highly recommend this for your next dance party.)

5. Coco Rosie – Grey Oceans
I love this album and had it on repeat at a time when my ideas about songs and song structures were beginning to expand beyond traditional songwriting. There’s so much whimsical movement and magic woven into this record that it really captivated my imagination and always seemed to paint a very visual picture. Despite encompassing a range of emotions like sadness and melancholy, this record shines a light on the end of the tunnel for me. (I’d highly recommend this to deal with grief or loss.)

Thanks to Sandunes for sharing her favourites with us!
Listen to Sandunes new EP Spare Some Time on Spotify.
Follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Abhilash Bhaishya

EP: Sandunes – ‘Spare Some Time’

A calming, electronic mediation on the necessity of expressing emotion; Sandunes has shared her new EP, Spare Some Time. Released today (May 22nd) via !K7, the four track creation is an aural salve for overwhelmed ears, flowing with shimmering synth textures and soothing beats that remind listeners to take stock of the love in their lives.

Based in Mumbai, Sandunes (aka Sanaya Aredeshir) has focused less on musical technicality, and more on emotional catharsis on this collaborative offering. While for some this decision might compromise high production standards, that’s not the case here. Spare Some Time is equally as polished as Sandunes’ previous releases, which are predominantly created from her home studio in Bombay.

Ambient electronics and stretched out beats permeate opening track ‘Love It Less’. Featuring the smooth vocals of Jbabe, the track was crafted from an intimate jam session between the two producers. It blends seamlessly into the atmospheric ‘Burn Every Bridge’. “The only way out is through / Burn every bridge to you”, muses vocalist Landslands, cautiously urging listeners to let go of the past. Sandunes’ tentative beats and fluid synths help to relay this gentle message too.

“Bittersweet acceptance” sounds intoxicating on ‘Fifty Percent’, thanks to the soulful vocals of Mumbai songwriter Ramya Pothuri. The vulnerabilities expresses in the lyrics are softened by Sandunes’ use of bright electronics. Closing track ‘Simple Thing’ sees the producer subtly celebrating the restorative nature of love in all its forms, through uplifting synths and IAMI’s buoyant vocals.

“I feel like it’s very important for me to be prudent, but also celebratory about feminine freedom, as a working, performing, producing, musician from India”, Sandunes explains. Her ability to be clear about her her status, and the emotional response that sparks is what makes Spare Some Time such a cathartic, reassuring listen. “We’re deprived in our isolation of the tremendous benefit that togetherness and connection brings” she continues, but with records like this; that connection is ultimately strengthened.

Listen to Sandunes new EP on Spotify. Follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Photo credit: Viktor Sloth

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Sandunes – ‘Eleven Eleven’ feat. Landslands

A unique musicality informed by jazz, spirituality, experimental folk and electronic music; Sandunes has shared her new single ‘Eleven Eleven’ featuring Landslands. The track is taken from her new EP of the same name, which is set for release on 6th September via !K7.

Sandunes (aka Sanaya Aredeshir) recorded her 11:11 EP whilst travelling between between Mumbai, London and Berlin. She blends these three different cultures seamlessly in to one seductive, electronic listening experience. Her respect for the works of Philip Glass, Andrew Ashong, Anoushka Shankarthe, and the experimental music of Sudan Archives have merged in to a homage to what she calls the “diverse spiritualists” that surround her.

As well as creating her own music, Sandunes actively encourages other musicians in Mumbai where she’s based. She is a member of DASTA – a community collective of six beatmakers at the forefront of India’s electronic music scene, and runs courses for young producers and artists committed to exposing, promoting and exporting the music. In 2017, Sandunes also worked with the Barbican as part of their “Different Trains 1947 project”, a collaborative response by artists including Actress and Darkstar, responding to the 70th anniversary of the declaration of India’s independence.

Sandunes will be returning to the UK to headline The Pickle Factory in East London on the 12th September, to coincide with the release of her new EP. Listen to her mesmerising new single below, and follow Sandunes on Facebook for more updates.

 

Get tickets for Sandunes gig at The Pickle Factory on 12th September here.

Photo credit: Jishnu Chakraborty

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut