TODAY -

Rock group PHYNYX changes name and going global

Jyaneswar Laishram *

LEN (Lord's Eastern Nomads)
LEN (Lord's Eastern Nomads) :: Pix - Half Step Rock



LEN - this is the new name of the veteran rock group PHYNYX. It may sound like just a dumpy derivation of the name Len Gangte, the band’s front-man; it really is in a sense; but it in other way is actually an acronym that reads ‘Lord’s Eastern Nomads’ in expanded form. In my opinion, changing of PHYNYX to LEN (Lord’s Eastern Nomads) is quite a cool step the band has ever taken up, albeit for different, a well thought-of reason, because they are now reincarnated into a new avatar, leaving all hullabaloos and controversies behind.

One big-fat reason why PHYNYX, now LEN, are now into the new avatar is that they have finally decided to cut their first full studio album containing ten original tracks. A few months ago under this column I wrote about the band getting geared up to churn their - own original songs. Now, the time has come, and it is brought to us not only by LEN alone, but Half Step Rock. Who is this Half Step Rock? This is a Bengaluru-based independent record label, headed by Ajay Chanam - a singer, songwriter, who always looks forward to helping Indian rockers climb international stage.

Half Step Rock boasts its own recording studio and record label ‘HSNStars’, with an envision to revive a vibrant and unconventional music trend in the country, taking the vibe to the international level. Relatively a young group in terms of their existence, Half Step Rock is just a couple of years old in the industry; but they get aggressively going marking their presence wide and bright. They were listed among the top 200 most promising start-ups and potential category leaders in 2016 by PN Growth, a group initiative of iSPIRT (Indian Software Products Industry Round Table), Stanford University, Harvard University and Duke University. And they are now helping LEN to land on international rock arena.

PHYNYX Rising - this will be the title of the album which LEN has set to launch internationally by April 2018, under the label HSNStar of Half Step Rock. It has been said the album will also contain Woman, the only single (song) the band (PHYNYX) has ever recorded originally in their three decades of music career, as part of Rock Street Journal’s gig album titled The Great Indian Rock Vol. 2 (1997). But it will not be the same old Woman; it will be a new reworked version that may sound something a bit far removed from glam rock resonance.

In the collaboration between LEN and Half Step Rock, the latter will hold exclusive international rights for album distribution and band management. This opportunity was what every local rock band in Manipur had always been needed. No doubt, PHYNYX had a house full of talents and temperament, which they had wasted for years engaging in doing only cheap cover job. They wasted such a long period because nobody or no record label in the region came out to promote them or rock music as a genre. What has been taken up by Half Step Rock as their new step was the need of the hour in the region.

As we look at the track records of Half Step Rock the production house has the right attitude and potential to push PHYNYX up to a new high at international level. Their close association with music channels, record distribution companies, both in India and overseas, is a proven fact that they can surely make the mission possible. This will be a big turning point, not only for LEN, but the entire rock music industry of Manipur.

There was a time when rock bands were rejected or received ‘boo’ from the audience if they played only their original compositions, because the wave of cover culture was so strong. It happened everywhere, even in other cities outside Manipur. The trend however got declined over the last two decades and cover culture was slowly over when many rock bands entered the recording studios for their debut original albums in English or their mother tongues. But many in Manipur remained stuck as they couldn’t give up their old cover habit; even today a handful of them still into the dormant job, without any further development. My idea is they must be part of the trend Half Step Rock has set by taking the road LEN has taken.

The current members of LEN are the same old guys who fell in line of PHYNYX, except Jimbo the keyboard player. And he is the only guy in the band whom I personally know quite closely. He is in fact a pianist. My friendship with him started a long-long time ago when he was playing grand piano in big places outside Manipur, and we both then started listening to none other than some good old Delta and Chicago blues. This doesn’t mean I don’t know the other members of LEN; I know them all, but not personally as close as I do know Jimbo.

Anyway, let me just make a brief introduction of the lineup of LEN. Len Gante, quite an old bastion in the rock music scene of Manipur, who actually needs no introduction, is in lead vocal; BK on guitar is yet another old hand in the rock circle of Manipur; Ringo on bass and Bobby on drums, both quite known to everyone. Indubitably every rock music enthusiast in the region knows them more than what I say.

But one thing the fans don’t know in whole is the veteran band’s new mission - launch of their first studio album ‘PHYNYX Rising’, which is going to go for a global release! Save the day on your calendar. It seems it may turn out to be just another D-Day in the rock music history of Manipur.


* Jyaneswar Laishram wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on September 17, 2017.


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