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A DJ and Music Blogger Tells Us About Mumbai's Music and Nightlife

varun_park.jpgEach week in our new column, "No Sleep Til...," we'll be talking to cool kids around the globe, asking them to fill us in about the bands, DJs, music venues and night spots they and their friends are obsessing over. Next time you visit their home city, leave your Fodor's and Lonely Planet guides behind and go party like a local instead.


Varun Patra



Where do you live?


What do you do?

I work for a Digital Agency, where we run campaigns for various brands over the online & offline space. A part time DJ, music blogger and party organizer.

What Indian bands or DJs are you and your friends obsessed with?

Sandunes, which is future garage. Their tunes bounce between 2 step, future garage, post-dubstep and experimental electronica. They're similar to Disclosure and Mount Kimbie. [I also like] Mode 7, which is ambient/experimental. Mode 7 trades triumphant bass drops for brooding beatscapes and strives to land in pensive, pro-ambient terrain. Similar to SBTRKT, Jamie XX and the like. Ox7gen, who makes liquid drum & bass and is one of the only DnB producers who is making waves across the nation. There's also Sound Avtar, which is Dubstep/Glitch Hop. He's the biggest dubstep producer from India and is a regular on the Beatport Top 100 charts. I also like Reggae Rajahs, India's first reggae sound system, who have helped push the genre in the country for the last four years along with an all-India artist management and booking agency specializing in the finest local and international talent within the music industry, called KRUNK. Reggae Rajahs toured across Europe last year, performing at the biggest reggae and bass festivals. Finally, [I like] Goddess Gagged, a progressive post-hardcore band and India's most promising band. Breathing in influences from all cross-sections of nineties rock/metal to present day prog, the band finds cohesion within layers of intricate guitar work, crushing rhythms, solid bass lines and moody atmospherics worthy of the darkest nights of solitude.

Where are the cool places to see live music in Mumbai?

Blue Frog, Bonobo, [places along the] Carter Road Promenade. Blue Frog is the best club our city has to offer in terms of ambience, music and food. Some of the world's best artists perform there as well. Bonobo is a club in the heart of the city: Bandra. More underground artists perform at this venue. And, being in the center of the city, it's a great venue for most people to come to at night after a long day of work to unwind. The music varies from an acoustic set by Bombay Bicycle Club to bass heavy tunes by Jazzsteppa. Most of their events are curated by these cool promoters KRUNK. Carter Road Promenade if one of the best live/outdoor venues in our city. It's a small amphitheater, which is used for gigs, small conceptual stuff and rallies. It's right by the sea and also in Bandra. Bandra, Colaba and Yari Road are the coolest neighborhoods in Mumbai.

Describe your perfect night out in Mumbai.

Recently there have been a lot of mid-week gigs happening of all kinds -- DJs, bands and a lot more. As most of us are working, it's hard to go out mid-week so we try to make up for the whole weekend on a Friday or Saturday. Here's a typical weekend night:

9:00 pm: Start with a pre-drinking session/dinner, at a friend's house or a small bar (Janata or Ambience are two very famous pre-drinking places in Bombay).

10:30 pm: We go to the club or a venue for a gig til 1am. Sadly clubs in our city are only open til that time.

1:00 am: Afterparty at the closest/biggest possible house we can find. Calls are made to get our hands on alcohol and more in the wee hours of the night and most of the times we end up home at day break.

What are your favorite bars and nightclubs in Mumbai?

Blue Frog, Bonobo and Cafe Zoe.

What's a bar or nightclub you would NEVER go to in Mumbai?

Rude Lounge -- the ventilation is as bad as a Bombay local train. You end up smelling like Novak Djokovic's towel after he won the Australian Open.

Check out Varun's band and DJ recs:

Sandunes -- "Running w: Claws"

Mode 7 -- "Fine Art Thief"

-- "Any Minute Now"

Sound Avtar
-- "Rolling Up a Monster"

Reggae Rajahs -- "Vol. 8 Rajah Army 4 Year Anniversary Mix"

Goddess Gagged
-- "Sink or Swim"

Check out Varun's nightlife listings:

Blue Frog, Zeba Center, Mathuradas Mill Compound,, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel  Mumbai, Maharashtra 400013

Bonobo, 2nd Floor, Kenilworth Mall, Phase 2, Off Linking Road,  Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050

Carter Road Promenade and Amphitheater, Carter Road Bandra West, 400050, Mumbai

Janata, 78 A, Dr Ambedkar Road, Pali Naka, Bandra West, Mumbai

Ambience, Shop No 162/D, Jagdamba Building, Senapati Bapat Road, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Cafe Zoe, Todi Mathuradas Mill Compound  126, N M Joshi Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400013

No Sleep Til...Paris

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