Divided By Zero

Divided By Zero is the first album by Hemant Sk based in Bangalore India. "I have been avoiding recording for many years since it takes away the entire live spatialised feel off the compositions and it was not a priority anyway" states Hemant, who has been vested into noise based left-field sound and visual media for over a decade now. Previously based in New Delhi, he has curated a series of concerts titled Disquiet showcasing his characteristic audio-visual canvas as well as certain experimental artists from India. His extensive experience with Pure_Data is reflected in his distinct and often mind-numbing, sonically lethal and number crunching performances. We asked him about the title and what it stands for ? "Divide By Zero signifies a formula which can’t ever happen. It stands as a hope for the impossible. Rendering of man as nothing when confronted with his circumstances — i was attracted by the impossibility which it suggests". The persona has been involved with 'noise' ever since he started self-hypnosis using television and radio static. In his own words " I embroider code, certain computational processes to create sonic situations ". Clearly the artist's music is at odds with the ruling conventions of 4 minute electro-thumpers or divas on decks, yet the visual projection and crafted sound is simply distinct and radical.

Divided By Zero released as cassette as well as digitally, contains three compositions and a certain deep political narrative attached to each one as well. "Post Industrial Lunar Worship" is a reflection of a society "that attempts romanticism by meditating on the moon, using the phonophobic memories of dead machines as therapy". OK !! The title track derives inspiration from the "Exorcism of a Poltergeist trapped in the CPU". Listening to the tune we conjure a space where billions of atoms would reassemble with each other, dancing ! "A Techie Commits Suicide" is a tragedy of the loss of identity at the hands of automation. Hemant informs us rather poignantly that "Thematically it deals with absolute despair and total absence of any hope. The compositions are monstrously lengthy evoke this sense of deeply sniffing on a sanitizer ! this sense of a heavy floating sensation". Though one wonders why just three compositions to the debut album ? Considering Hemant Sk's extensive body of work and endeavors into the world of noise, disquiet and chaos. To understand the album better one should visit the website : replete with artwork, cassette order as well the complete album for streaming. dividedbyzero.in/

Tell us a bit about your background with noise? Is it anti-establisment ?
Its been very long, the engagement with noise... i feel i am beginning to arrive at a certain sense of craft with it. Almost like putting the craft back in handicraft. Its all home made custom software - which works generatively ... Its not at all anti-establishment. Rather it takes the establishment more seriously than the establishment takes itself. It is very reciprocal to the establishment. There is no rebellion or rage against the machine here ... its more on the lines of "Make love to the machine”.

How do you view the current state of experimental and off-the-grid music and arts in India?
Its a major renaissance and massive flowering happening now. Partially caused by increased accessibility to the means of production. God Bless China for having democratized Tech! There are more and more folks connecting with each other .. able to etch out a brotherhood without the culture brokers & the alcohol vendors trying to sell a lifestyle. Its also a side effect of this entire monopolizing of the internet by a few software corporations that we witness this worm culture, hyper-niche stuff ... spawned on the backs of an extremely surveillance heavy, vanity inducing digital media (use and abuse)

Divided By Zero barely begins to reveal the way Hemant synthesizes sound or visions the world as an artist. Yet the album is a strong reckoner into the noise and left-field music scenario in India, which by all means is beaming it's sound and message into the current urban landscape. The effect is a lateral push towards a more diverse and intelligent climate. We expect to hear from the artist without doubt ...

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