• Only Now Presents: Indian Unclassical Vol. 1

Only Now Presents: Indian Unclassical Vol. 1

Bokeh Versions

Regular price

The long awaited linkup of Kush Arora and Bokeh Versions has found its time here with this crucial, time-tripping and (fluid) culture manifesting epic from Kush under his Only Now alias – as the title suggests: re-configuring Indian classical music traditions into something truly next-gen / other world.

Serious emotions and strong intent inside this tape here, and with righteous causes in mind – this is how music should travel.
Read the full scoop from BKV HQ below, and trust us when we say
‘It’s another must-have from via the house of Bokeh Versions’.

With the first volume in the new ‘Indian Unclassical’ series Kush Arora presents a lineal reorientation for the Only Now project, centred on heavyweight experimentation and traditional Indian heritage. Across a nine-track collaborative suite of fractured rhythms, consuming drone, and poignant echoes of virtuosic Indian music, Arora produces a singular work where time-honoured roots and pioneering forms combine to form an imposing, foreboding environment.

The process for the ‘Indian Unclassical’ series began with a request for solo instrumental pieces from influential Indian classical musicians including Robin Sukhadia (Tabla), Sheela Bringi (Bansuri), Kamaljeet Ahluwalia (Santoor) and Rajib Karmakar (Sitar). Alongside co-producer / curator Sukhadia (aka Tablapusher) – an essential player in the Indian classical community – Arora then reshaped these contributions, subverting classical diurnal and nocturnal ragas with tidal waves of noise and resonance.

On this unique collaborative encounter the Only Now project and the conventions of Indian classical music are equally transformed, as Bairagi (early morning raga), Brindavani Sarang (afternoon raga), and Malkauns (post-midnight raga) are brought into proximity with assaultive rhythms and sunken soundscapes, making for a formidable collision of disparate modes and disciplines.

From the convulsive Santoor-led dread of ‘Time Suffocation’ through the propulsive Tabla-driven tempos of ‘Slit Ties’ and ‘Cavern Trance’ and on into the sombre Sitar-toned space blues of ‘Inverted Memories’ and ‘Last Gasp’, Only Now mixes craft and prowess with power and scale, moving between dissonant onslaught and luminous abstraction. Here, Arora connects ancestral tradition with relentless contemporary flux, embodying the ever-changing pluralities of history and identity.

For Arora the first installment of the ‘Indian Unclassical’ series is the product of an enduring interest in experimenting with traditional Indian music, as some of his earliest material incorporated industrial interpretations of Punjabi music, with many of these nascent productions supported by long-time collaborator Sukhadia.

Reflecting the continuing relationship Arora has with both the music and preservation of his homeland, a percentage of proceeds from the first volume of ‘Indian Unclassical’ will be sent to Manav Sadhna in Ahmedabad, India, a non-profit organization supporting underprivileged communities through programs in education, nutrition, health, youth, women’s empowerment, senior care and more.

The inception of the ‘Indian Unclassical’ series illustrates a sustained evolution in the output of the Only Now project, following a string of acclaimed self-released projects, as well as collaborations with Bay Area affiliate Orogen and doom metal guitarist Peter Arensdorf (King Woman / Beneath The Ruins). Arora has made recent appearances on Discrepant, Polaar, and Infinite Machine, and has an upcoming contribution set for release on Nyege Nyege Tapes sublabel Hakuna Kulala.

Production, Music, Mixing: Kush Arora
Executive Producer and Curation: Robin Sukhadia

Recorded between 2020-2021 throughout Los Angeles and Berkeley, California.

50% of the proceeds for this release will go to Manav Sadhna for their work strengthening underpriveleged communities in Ahmedabad:

C50 gold cassettes.
comes with DL code.

1. Time Suffocation (feat. Kamaljeet Ahluwalia) 05:55
2. Slit Ties (feat. Robin Sukhadia) 02:48
3. Glory (feat. Sheela Bringi) 04:04
4. Vision Through (feat. Kamaljeet Ahluwalia) 05:55
5. Cavern Trance (feat. Robin Sukhadia) 03:44
6. Inverted Memories (feat. Rajib Karmakar) 04:36
7. Ghosts Of Regret (feat. Rajib Karmakar) 04:55
8. Fires, Bodies, Slow Burn, No Wood (feat. Sheela Bringi) 07:41
9. Last Gasp (feat. Rajib Karmakar) 10:40



Fires, Bodies, Slow Burn, No Wood (feat. Sheela Bringi)

Slit Ties (feat. Robin Sukhadia)

Cavern Trance (feat. Robin Sukhadia)

Inverted Memories (feat. Rajib Karmakar)