Operating in international territories , in our new featured series Foreign Base, we focus on Indian artists that have made foreign habitats their home and are making a name for themselves globally. Our first edition features, California based Pune native Ruturaj Wankhede aka bass/dnb producer Karmasynk.
Hi Ruturaj. Thank you for joining us. What are you working on currently ?
Pleasure! Right now we are preparing with full strength for my return on Cause4Concern
this year with an EP which should be ready for a spring time release. After the success of
‘Stealth Mechanics’ EP on Play Me last year, we are planning a follow up EP for 2019. Then we
have an EP for Italian label Delta9 Records and a single on Lifestyle Music UK.
Tell us a bit about your background. What are your biggest influences that has helped shaped
your journey so far?
My music journey began as a guitarist – I played in a lot of rock/metal bands growing up
which eventually led me to recording and producing bands which was my first introduction in
working in a DAW environment. Eventually my interest started developing in the production side
of things and as most teenagers growing up in India, I was introduced to the world of electronic
music through psytrance. My first real electronic music concert was an Infected Mushroom
concert at One Lounge in Pune – this venue used to be really cool and hosted a lot of acts back
in the day that have shaped my taste. At first I was more into more popular psy acts like Raja
Ram and GMS and as my taste developed (along with my tolerance for hallucinogens) I was
more into the ‘hi-tech’ sounds as they would call it – Noise Poison Records, Kamino, Kindzadza
etc. – man those were the days.
After moving to California for college, I was introduced to more psychedelic forms of bass music
– which is when I properly got into drum and bass even though I was familiar with it since the
psytrance days. This is also the first time I heard Tipper’s music – His music deeply resonates
with me and I probably wouldn’t be taking music as seriously if it wasn’t for him.
We love the depth in one of your tracks, Krimson!. Do you have a personal favorite track of
yours and if so whats the inspiration behind it ?
I’m glad you asked about Krimson – It is one of my favorite tracks as well. With this one, I
wanted to sonify the shade of red – KarmasynK style. Thus the track is called Krimson –
KarmasynK’s shade of red.
Drum n bass is one of the toughest genres to make from a production perspective. We noticed
that your production is quite tight and punchy. How do you go about your production process ?
Do you use any analog gear or you mostly in the box ?
Yes – finding space in drum and bass because of its speed can be tricky – so it is a bit
more challenging than other genres. So it is really important how you deal with the transients –
and there is no single right way to go about it. But the key is being aware about how each
process is effecting the transients and using it to emphasis and de-emphasize elements so
everything is not poking at you all the time. Yes I do use some analog gear – I love my API 2500 compressor. I use it on my drum bus all the time!
Then I have a pair of Distressors that I like to use for sound design – especially on my bass
sounds. When they are pushed super hard, you can get some really nasty (in a good way)
Do you have a secret weapon ? What tips would you like to give to aspiring producers ?
No not really. It is important to watch tutorials and keep updated with the latest techniques
everyone is using – Learning never stops and it can get easy to get comfortable with what you
know – but key is in constantly learning new ways and techniques. I sometimes watch tutorials
just to see how a person goes about doing the same thing I do – the insight gained from such a
process helps me make better informed decisions when I am working on my own projects.
You studied Music technology in California. Has it had any influence in your music ? Is there
any other type or aspect of music production that you're involved in ?
Yes – I went to school for learning how to code audio software. This process gave me an
insight into how different plugins and DAWs are made and their limitations so maybe it helps a
little bit to have a better understanding of the tools we use for music production.
I also work as a sound designer for Warner Bros. – I create sample libraries and also help with
doing sound design and composition for Trailers and TV promos. I am currently enrolled in a
post graduate program at Academy of Art in San Francisco and I am hoping to get into doing
sound design for Video Games.
DnB is actually one of the oldest genre's existing in electronic music, having had its hey days
and in and out phases. What do you think of the scene today ?
DnB is on a rise globally. Our C4C 20 Years LP reached #2 in all genres on Beatport and
Benny L is currently holding #1 track on Beatport. This is the first time a drum and bass track is
leading on the beatport charts. It is quite obvious that dnb is turning heads again.
How would you like to see the bass music/Dnb Scene in India develop?
The scene in India is in its infancy and it is important right now to forget about genres and
unite and support each other. Nepotism is a huge problem and is hurting the development of the
If karmasynk wasn't a producer, what would he be ?
Probably an audio programmer.
Your dream collaboration ?
Noisia or Tipper. Too many to name here..
Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Any last words for our readers ?
Thank you so much for having me here! Really love the initiative you guys have taken to
bring everyone together – we need more of this and more people who do it for the love of the
music – isn’t that why we are here?