Mumbai-based producer Sandunes surrounds and elevates the listener on latest EP, 11:11, finds Esme Bennett

Sanaya Aredeshir, the Mumbai-based producer and composer otherwise known as Sandunes, explores boundaries and transitions on her new EP 11.11, released on !k7. Her self- proclaimed aim with this EP is to focus on “repetitive occurrences that we’re happy to call coincidences”. Recorded between Berlin, London and Mumbai, the sounds on this EP are meditative and elevating, showcasing a forward thinking artist who is unafraid to discover new planes of sound.

To Sandunes, blending and developing snippets of the natural sounds heard throughout the dynamic chaos of her home in Bombay was the driving force and inspiration of her work with Red Bull’s Searching For Sound series. Sanya used these sounds to explore textures and lines in her music, and so created a sonic landscape across the planes of recording.

After playing India’s first ever Boiler Room show in Mumbai in early 2017, an electric success of relaxing and eclectic soundscapes. A member of DASTA, an innovative platform of six musicians at the forefront of this movement emphasizing a DIY approach to producing, with a stated intention to “bring people together through the utopian nature of electronic music”. She is a certified Ableton trainer, regularly giving workshops providing an insight into her production and performance method, including at Berlin’s revered LOOP summit in Berlin.

11:11 is the product of layers of sampled recordings from Sanaya’s own life, woven together texturally. Sanaya describes the final piece as “half way between an organic world and a synthesized world”. It certainly achieves that purpose. On the opening track ‘Eleven Eleven’ (featuring guest vocals from Landslands), watery electronics are layered with a steady click, setting a meditative tone to begin. As sandy percussion and snipped vocals set in, the track is awash with a kind of soulful jazz, reminiscent of the dynamism of Jordan Raeki, whom Sanaya cites as a key inspiration.

‘Glock’ opens with fluttery percussion, developing into a loop of lush keyboard organs, illustrating Sanya’s classically trained piano background, and leading the listener to visualize the repetition of time on a ticking clock, whilst looking forward into the future. Her album Downstream, self-released in 2016, is a lot more fierce and energetic in its composition. Somehow 11.11 shows a more introspective side to Sandunes’ music, much more in line with the exploratory nature of her Searching for Sound series. Shimmering melodies make up ‘Shift’, which impresses upon your psyche a honed-in, directive message of transference – perhaps Sanya’s own shift between the planes of organic sound and digitalised consistency. ‘Ever Bridge’ is the longest of any of the tracks. Sampled birds tweet expectantly across an ocean of synth, until an out-of-step drum sets it into motion. The track builds with various keyboard elements and a steady bass line until the mood comes into fruition across multiple layers.

The music of 11.11 lifts you, but lightly so – surrounding you and elevating you. Sanya titled the release based on the uncanny feeling of familiarity on glancing at the clock to see the time read identical figures: “11:11”. The album encapsulates this, giving us that deja vu feeling we’ve been here before. Sanya has once again created flourishing sounds brushing with a gentle and syncopated tranquility, revealing a musician on a personal journey of sonic exploration.

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