Genre: Experimental, Groove, World Roots
Location: Kolkata, India
Years Active: 2015 to Present
Dwaipayan Saha, Arka Das,
Ritoban Das, Sourav Chatterjee
Unity Village is a collaborative platform exploring the roots of rhythm. The quartet of percussionists, Arka Das, Ritoban Das, Dwaipayan Saha and Sourav Chatterjee, came together in August 2015, when a Kolkata based café approached Dwaipayan to put up a percussion-only show. What was essentially to be a one-off experiment and rhythm jam developed into a full-fledged band following that debut show at Abar Baithak, and Unity Village took shape. Interestingly, all four are students of Afro-Cuban percussion maestro/composer Monojit ‘Kochu’ Datta.
The four went on to collaborate on Joyraj Bhattacharya’s dance theatre production Praatohkrityo, which premiered in January 2016 in Kolkata. The play was staged to full houses in Kolkata and Delhi and was lauded for its explosive music, played live.
The music for Praatohkrityo was a turning point for the band, with a definitive, layered compositional approach giving rise to tunes that it recorded in mid-2016 and now plan to release as an EP.
All four members of Unity Village play active roles in ace musical projects in Kolkata and remain usual suspects from the city scene, yet the band’s sound is mint fresh. With influences ranging from Afro-Cuban music to street beats to Yoruban drumming to Indian rhythms, from experimental jazz to world music, Unity Village weaves together a hip tapestry of sound, with the right nods to tradition. More importantly, Kolkata seeps through its sound; the dirty, warm funk that is Kolkata.
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