You can listen to and download (for free!) the album here.
When a name like Dualist Inquiry pops up on your YouTube playlist it is quite impossible not to get intrigued. The Delhi-based producer and guitarist who calls himself a cerebral agent has been part of the scene for quite some time now. I remember getting really impressed by his tracks Gravitat and Qualia. And also by his low-fi collaboration with Delhi based fusion rockers Advaita as part of Dewarists season 2. Before I start reviewing this album I will have to admit that my relationship with electronica has been that of a tourist with his favorite destination.
A true test of an EDM album is on the dance floor and here i feel handicapped on my chair while listening to Dualist Inquiry’s latest offering Doppelganger. Dualist Inquiry is known for coming up with elaborate names for his tracks and this album too don’t disappoint on that front. The album opens with Specter, a song laden with wobble beats,drones and slide guitar riffs. The song is effectively two songs and the second part starts at 2:46, slowly builds up the tempo and what follows makes it my favorite track of the album.
The second track 6am is a song laden with subtle drum machine work and the intricacies of the song can get easily lost on you if you don’t pay enough attention. Dualist Inquiry uses guitars prominently in all tracks, I guess this is what’s led to some fans comparing him to Moby. The next track is called One More Thing is full of staccato rhythms and is a mood elevator, but I think the USP of the song is its guitar loops. It will be a treat to watch this song live. The song Exile sounds like a big beat song minus the big beat. The loop is very groovy. I could hear the harp-like sounds and violin makes the song sound a little emotional. But then the bass cuts across to lift you up. I think album has two types of songs, the subtle, understated variety for chilling out and songs like Anathema which will make you jump onto your feet. The repeated whispering of the Anathema phrase sounded a bit ridiculous though. The next song Origin is a happy song and uses guitar to splendid effect. I think EDM songs with guitars is the point where rock and EDM converges. These songs are perfect counter-arguments to the claim that EDM songs are machine-made and miss the human element. The next track is called Blitzkrieg, after a devastating tactic used by the German army during the Second World War. The song has interesting sounds and might have been influenced by the German electronica greats which would explain the name. Up next is Isoterra, song which you can enjoy with a mojito in your hand; the use of voice samples is one of the highlights of the song. The last song Soleil might be called the down-tempo song of the album. I love this song for its use of synth bass and percussion which I believe includes Conga drums.
I think Doppelganger is the mature sound of Indian EDM. It is devoid of the usual sitar loops and alaaps which used to be the hallmark of EDM composed in these parts of the world. If you are a fan and follower of the Indian EDM scene this is a must-buy album, even otherwise if you like good music this album won’t disappoint.