MusicBlox: Govinda

If you’re like many people, you’re probably sick of hearing about dubstep. Perhaps you think it’s the auditory equivalent of nails on a chalkboard, or the anguished screaming of the souls of thousands of teenagers as they’re dragged into the pit by half-shaved hipster demons. Actually, that’s Merzbow you’re thinking of (so it could be worse). Perhaps you liked dubstep once upon a time when you heard Glitch Mob for the first time, but since then the genre has kind of gone in a direction you don’t like. Perhaps you actually remember dubstep before it got taken over by the current EDM crowd, and Hatcha and Plastician are still in occasional rotation on your playlist. Perhaps you like dubstep and you wish it didn’t have such a bad rap. Perhaps you have no idea what I’m talking about.

Regardless, I have one word for you: Govinda.

Govinda is the moniker of a solo artist named Shane Madden with quite a number of albums under his belt, who has recently been moving in a dubsteppy direction. There is some confusion since there are evidently two artists under the name Govinda, both working in electronic world fusion with Indian influences — but I think a line can be drawn around the Shane Madden Govinda project by isolating the albums that use live violin. This is how Madden has really made his mark as a performer: few electronic artists will whip out a “traditional” instrument and play it with virtuosity equal to their electronic wizardry. It’s always a delight when they do; for example. Squarepusher played bass guitar alongside his early performances, and Big Gigantic packs huge venues that dance for hours to what is essentially acid jazz.

Under normal circumstances I’d drop in a handy YouTube video here, but since the future of music on YouTube is in doubt right now, I’m going to link elsewhere until that whole mess settles out.

This is one of my favorite tracks from the most recent full album. Govinda has released some EPs as well, of both original content and remixes, and all strong music but I still feel Universal On Switch is the best full album. YMMV, so listen to them all!

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