The Director's Cut: SHFT - Arcane [Qilla Records]

India's SHFT takes us behind the scenes of his debut album.

Over the past decade, India has slowly become a hotbed for high quality underground electronic music. New Delhi's Vipul Angirish aka SHFT has continually pushed his own musical agenda as an artist and A&R of Qilla Records. A producer with a sense of razor-sharp precision and meticulous attention to detail, he has become revered at home as well as picking up international acclaim. 

For this album, SHFT gained fresh inspiration in the studio, delving deep to spark the soundtrack that brings his own sonic world to life. The diverse and rich soundscapes are trance-inducing. Below, he breaks down his new album for the latest installment of our Director's Cut series.  

SHFT - Arcane [Qilla Records]

SHFT - Arcane [Qilla Records]

How to listen: There are a couple of ways to proceed. First, you can listen to the whole album, which you will find below, and then read the notes. Or, read the notes as you listen to each track. This will completely change your perspective on the whole release itself and bring you closer to the artist and their work.

Words by SHFT

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1. Arcane

The album is inspired by a post-apocalyptic era whilst moving towards futuristic sounds that are inspired by a time we left behind. I wanted to capture the essence of the album and make an appropriate intro for the entire story.

2. Sphinx

This track was inspired by a bass line I stumbled upon while jamming on my modular setup. I like recording long takes with a lot of modulation and then chopping it up to find combinations that work. The entire track then came together as a development of the first recording.

3. Hellkite

This was the first track I produced for the album. The idea was to challenge myself using techniques that I hadn’t used before. This took a lot of experimenting and eventually led to a new and exciting sound I found for myself.

4. Octane

In the process of writing the album, I started combining complex modular jams along with select glitch plugins within the digital zone. This combination became the heart of this track. One thing led to another and I found multiple sounds through the same process.

5. Raven

The idea behind this track was to reinvent the conventional 303 bass line and the elements around it. I wanted to break away from the dry, squelchy, warehouse sound into a more dynamic and atmosphere driven take within this style.

6. XY

One day my friend Monophonik visited my studio, he was helping me understand a few tricks based on his experience and while we were jamming, something amazing happened. We recorded a bunch of cool takes which we really liked, however, it took us the longest time to actually complete this to a point where we were both happy with it.

7. Survivor

"Survivor" goes a little deeper than the other tracks and takes me back to my roots. I have also really enjoyed listening to ground-breaking producers like Donato Dozzy, Marcus Henrikksson, and Dorisburg’s back catalog which is somehow now ingrained in my system.

8. Vortex

"Vortex" is probably the center point of the album, in texture, style, sound, and technique. This is when the album started taking a distinct shape.

9. Malicious

"Malicious" is more of the dark side of the album which is why it’s heavier with a more broken groove which keeps things intense. I wrote this track with a certain amount of excitement to play in my sets. I am very curious to see how people react to this on the floor.

10. Xenomorph

This track was inspired by the time I spent at Locals District Festival and hearing Black Merlin’s all vinyl techno set. The atmosphere and vibe there was really special. I wanted to recreate that feeling and put it into a single track. 

Grab your copy of SHFT's Arcane here

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