Malfnktion becomes the first artist from India to join the Exit Records family, a landmark moment not just for him, but also India's club community.
In a press statement, Alamuru recounted his first time meeting with label boss dBridge. During a live set at Magnetic Fields Festival in 2018, the artist dropped an early version of "Snake Charmer," the first track off No Dough, and suddenly spotted the Autonomic creator, who headlined the Jaipur event that year, at the front of the crowd. "He appeared almost out of nowhere and he was vibing with the track. The energy of everyone who was there that year was incredible." The two met right after that performance. "We knew right then that some of this energy had to be channeled into an EP," Alamuru stated.
Since that fateful encounter took place on Alamuru's home turf, it's fitting he chooses to diffuse the spirit of Bangalore's club community into No Dough. Last year, Alamuru relocated to Toronto and the time spent away from his old stomping grounds has strengthened the potency of that infusion. This is "my impression of contemporary Indian dance music," he explained. "It's the rhythm of my city, familiar sounds and festivals, filtered down to their elements."
He means that in a literal sense. The five-track release features field recordings of festivals, street celebrations and other day-to-day noises compiled during trips around India. Some of these can be heard on "Snake Charmer," which has high-pitched squeaks in the introduction and manipulated snippets of what sounds like ghungroos (anklet strings of brass bells worn on dancers) in the breakdown.
Chopped-and-screwed samples of Indian instruments are also present throughout the work. On "Bigfoot," the core melody is derived from the tumbi, a Punjabi string instrument, which creates the mood of a rap cypher alongside playful drums and a bouncy tempo. Packing enough dubby goodness to instigate stank faces all around, it's a highlight of the EP. MC Shayan Roy, meanwhile, represents India's underground hip-hop scene on "Talk," with rapid-fire bars that contrast Alamru's steady and precise percussion in the background.
Low-key yet turbocharged with fierce basslines, No Dough is an energetic meeting of trap and dubstep in stripped-back arrangements. By sticking to halftime, Alamuru is able to break down these two styles with plenty of space for playful samples. With this Exit co-sign, No Dough is a milestone release for Malfnktion, as well as for every Indian producer infusing their identity into warped bass textures.