Abstract Logix Shares The New Universe
On November 20 and 21, John McLaughlin, Lenny White, Wayne Krantz, Jimmy Herring, Ranjit Barot and Alex Machacek will share the stage in Raleigh, North Carolina. These musicians will come together at the Lincoln Theatre for the inaugural New Universe Musi Festival. The event has been put together by Abstract Logix, which began as an informational website and has evolved into a record label, tour promoter and now record label. Here, founder Souvik Dutta tracks that evolution.
Can you talk about your background? Are you musician yourself or just a music fan?
I grew up in India until I was 18. I came to the States to go to see some Rock N Roll as well as go to college. I was big into the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers and I knew that I had to move to United States to have a chance to see them live. I was playing the bass Guitar, starting at the age of 11 or so. I was an OK musician and eventually going to college took away time from playing the instrument. I had only so much time in my hand during after working and going to school and partying.
What led you to take your initial steps towards Abstract Logix?
Although I was never into the pursuit of creating a business entity of any kind, I always wanted to be involved with music. It so happened that I connected with John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain, Jimmy Herring, Jeff Sipe early on and organically created the label. One thing led to another and destiny had in store for me. So here I am today, running a label, distribution company as well as managing folks like Jimmy Herring, Wayne Krantz among others.
It appears that Abstract Logix originated as result of a house concert you hosted. How did that event come about and how did it then lead into the website/company?
It was a hang at my place with some old friends from college, we had graduated a few years back and some of us had moved to different parts of the globe, so we wanted to have some kick ass music right in the living room while we all met up so many years later.
I was a big fan of bassist Jonas Hellborg (John McLaughlin) along with the late great Shawn Lane and Jeff Sipe, aka Apt Q258 on drums. They were on tour in the States and invited them to come and perform. We broadcasted the performance on the internet, had to come up with a website, so that’s how it all started.
How many house concerts did you host in the day (and since) and which was the most memorable for you?
It was the only one I did at home. We had about 50 folks the first time and I knew we just did not have the space or the capacity to do it again.
Can you talk about the initial challenges of bringing Abstract Logix online? In terms of your growth what were some of the significant milestones along the way?
Well, my professional background is in Computer Science, so I was quite hip to software development and web technologies. However I learned immensely in applying that knowledge to run a online business. I dealt with all technical aspects – Design, writing code, building databases. It got interesting when I started to promote the site, getting new visitors to check out the site, purchasing music and spending time reading content. I learned quite a bit about customer behavior and how they react to various stuff. It’s a wealth of knowledge that I was able to acquire by managing all parts othe business
How did you come to work with John McLaughlin? What were his concerns in working with such a small/developing company and how did you address them?
I first heard John McLaughlin when I was about 10 years old. My father took me to see Shakti . Although I don’t remember that day much I know it created a big impact on me. Years later, I saw him the States few times and it was such a majestic experience. I actually got to do merchandise for the 2003 Remember Shakti Tour due to a recommendation by Zakir Hussain and then John eventually called me up a year later and asked me to work with him. He had been with all major record labels all throughout his life and I think he was in search of a personal and close relationship with someone that would honestly care about the music. So it was a perfect match and I am privileged to able to work with someone I look up to.