From Clear Spaces Within: Banglore-based Avilente Releases Latest Album with Microcosmos Records
Avilente is a solo project by Faheemul Hasan. After years of playing for different and versatile bands, this musician has taken things a step forward by releasing his own independent album rich in ambience and electronica. The record has been released by the mighty Microcosmos Records. The record company is huge in the electronic scene as they regularly put out some of the best international releases in ambient, chill-out and downtempo in the past half decade.
The album, titled From Clear Spaces Within, is an hour long journey into the depths of one’s mind. As Hasan puts it himself, ‘Avilente (pronounced aavi-laant) pulsates a luscious and intrinsic ambient trance experience that simulates transcendental drifts through magnificent sonic portals. With sounds ranging from tranquil meditative arrangements to intoxicating glitch sequences, Avilente thrusts the listener into multi-dimensional realms of ecstatic bliss.’
soundplunge_test Magazine caught up with the upcoming musician and grilled him about his music.
soundplunge_test: How and when did Microcosmos records approach you and decide to release your record?
Faheemul Hasan: Well, I was approached by them sometime during June 2012, just about when I had some demos posted on Soundcloud of some of my early works as Avilente. The label head Alexander Daf, came across the music and liked what he heard. We communicated over email and took it forward from there. Initially he only wanted me to send in a track for a compilation, but I told him about my plans for an album and sent them some demos, and a year later after a lot of file sharing back and forth the album came to be.
ST: They have released a multitude of tracks in the electronic category, with some international artists bearing some resemblance to your sound in terms of ambience and beats. What made you personally want them to release your music?
FH: I liked the music and the artists that they had on their roster, and when Alexander did approach me I was quite happy to be a part of their label. They are a young label as well, so it’s different from signing onto a label that’s been in the business for a few years with a larger roster of artists. With a smaller label, there’s more personal communication and attention given to the artists needs and I was very happy with the way that has worked with Microcosmos so far. I had complete creative freedom to do my own thing.
Also, I knew that my music had no real audience in India, so an Indian label would make no sense at all. The music would not really be heard for what it is, whereas in Europe and other parts of the world, listeners are more open to styles of electronic music that aren’t easily categorized and boxed in.
ST: After having played for an array of bands of dramatically different genres, when did you figure out that this was the kind of sound you wanted in the album?
FH: I had been a big fan of this style of music for a long time before I actually got down to composing my own works in this style. I loved the sound of artists like Shpongle, Shulman, Bluetech, Hibernation and Ishq and they were a big influence on my creative direction at the time of writing the material for the album. Even when I was a part of Eccentric Pendulum and Farmer, I was an avid listener of ambient music and I suppose it was a natural transition to go ahead and experiment with my own ideas in these genres.
ST: With the immense rise in popularity of EDM in the last few years, how would you place your music in this context?
FH: EDM exists to make people dance, whereas the ideas I have in Avilente don’t even try to do that. So in that context I would not consider them to be in the same sphere. I am working on more groove driven ideas at the moment that could fall under EDM, so only time can tell how that turns out.
ST: Do you believe that electronic production is sufficient enough an instrument for the future of music?
FH: I still love sitting down to just play the Guitar and Piano, and see what I can do with the limitation of just one instrument and two hands to play them. It is so much more spontaneous than the process of music sequencing and some of my best ideas come to me while I’m just alone playing Guitar or the Piano.
So, no I definitely don’t think so. Real instruments still have a timeless charm to them that will never die out, as long we still have a heart and soul to appreciate it. Electronic music production can only aid and add to the music that comes from instruments, never replace it completely. At least, that’s what I feel.
Avilente’s From Clear Spaces Within is definitely a momentous release for an Indian artist under the downtempo ambient category as no one has yet attempted something like this. Future projects for him include collaborations with members of the metal band Orchid too.