Parikrama reinterprets their perennial hit Vapourize

By Ranjini Achuthan

Vapourize is one of the most beloved tracks of Parikrama enjoyed by legions of fans across the country. This heavy metal track was first played live when the band opened for the legendary Iron Maiden in Bangalore in the year 2007. Just like 99% of their songs, Vapourize too has never been recorded or released. Instead, a live recording of the song performed at the Download Fest in UK is available on YouTube.

A week ago, the heavyweights surprised their ardent listeners with a fresh new perspective on the track. The recreation of the masterpiece is being celebrated for how different it sounds. Incidentally, the idea started out as a project to support two big causes (Daily wage workers affected by Covid and Bengal by the Cyclone).

Subir Malik, the veteran keyboardist and founding member of the band cooked up the concept of a 1920’s /30’s swing version of Vapourize. The concept was pitched to the entire band and at a point, Srijan Mahajan, the ace drummer and one of the youngest blood to join the camp, came up with this soul/jazz sound. Everyone immediately loved the take and that’s how this brand new version came about.

The song begins with a radio effect to the vocals of Nitin Malik which then settles into a groovy, chill vibe whereas the original heavy version is primarily known for his high pitched signature scream. Subir adds that if one listens closely, the backing chorus still retain the swing feel to it; the old 3 or 4-piece harmony. Sitar by Dhruv Bedi was not a part of the originally recreated version. But when it was tried out it sat well with the mood of the track and so that too was retained.

Parikrama is known for their very liberal take on consumption of their music in terms of distribution and copyrights.

According to Subir, in spite of the plans for a double album that was rumored to happen a few years ago, the band has taken a decision to scrap the idea and instead stay true to their tradition by releasing more singles itself which we can expect in the coming months.

This makes sense because, the digital age has ushered a massive shift in the listening habits of the music aficionados around the world. With the advent of streaming platforms that thrive on playlists, people tend to listen to a mix of tracks by various artists rather than be patient enough to listen to an entire album. So when a band decides to release an entire album, they unknowingly create a competition between their own songs to find a place in the same editorial playlists. Releasing singles regularly also gives the artists chance to constantly engage their listeners and stay relevant and active.

Subir, on further prodding, reveals some exciting news. We can expect a proper farewell to the legendary guitarist of the band, Sonam Sherpa who died earlier this year due to a massive cardiac arrest. His birthday falls on October 8th, and we are gearing up to release another re-exploration of one of our earlier tracks with some never-before-heard guitar sections by Sonam. It is going to be fitting tribute to the legacy of the ace guitarist!