DHAKA ELECTRONICA SCENE

Discovering raw music talent

Neebiir Kamaal
Members at the Sstartup Bash, an initiative in collaboration with Global Enterprenureship Week.

Members at the Sstartup Bash, an initiative in collaboration with Global Enterprenureship Week.

The evolution of different music genres have turned the places of their origin emerge as cultural capitals in the world. People hardly knew about Jamaica, until Robert Nesta Marley, more widely known as Bob Marley exploded on to the world music scene in the 1960s with reggae music along with his contemporaries in the genre. The boom of reggae brought recognition to Jamaica as one of the largest cultural hubs in the world. Likewise, in the 1980s, Chicago found its own unique sound; house music, and the sound waves created by the genre eventually hit all the major cities in the world. Then just about a couple of decades ago, Berlin became famous for something other than their monumental wall, the bloom of trance music. Every nation has its own musical heritage and identity, but as far as the electronic music scene of Bangladesh is concerned, it still remains undefined.
Dhaka Electronica Scene, a non-profit cross media platform that began its journey about two and a half years back, aims to materialise the ambitious dream of finding a unique Bangladeshi electronic music identity that can become globally known. Co-founded by young novice electronic music composers Khan Mohammad Faisal, Omer Nashed and Vru Patel, the platform has begun its journey with the specific focus of discovering electronic music producers who would create original tracks of the genre. Since its inception, DES has discovered more than a hundred young electronic music composers who have come together under the DES banner to produce original tracks. So far, members of DES have composed about a thousand original electro tracks that can be accessed on the official DES page on www.soundcloud.com.

Omer Nashaad and Shoummo Saha performing with German artists at The 8.

Omer Nashaad and Shoummo Saha performing with German artists at The 8.

Creations by young Bangladeshi DES musicians Fahad Zaman, Khan Mohammad Faisal, Vru Patel, Shoummo Saha have already been played on international radio channels like PBS 106.7 FM, based in Melbourne; Radio ARA from Luxemburg and popular EM podcast Syndae. DES also represented Bangladesh to the readers of the international magazine Vice, specializing in art and culture and is originally based in Canada.
Khan Mohammad Faisal, co-founder of DES said, ‘We are not only discovering and uniting young Bangladeshi electronic music producers who are based in Bangladesh, but we have also been taking contributions from Bangladeshi electronic music producers based in USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Poland, Germany, Sri Lanka, India, Kuwait and other countries. The members living abroad post their music on our page on Sound Cloud so that the masses can access them.’
In the local music scene, DES has done five events so far at venues like Berlin Hall at the Goethe Institut, German Club and hotel Peninsula in Chittagong. The Room series, which took place recently at the Goethe Institut, featured the original tracks by DES members. Room 2 brought music groups like Apeiruss, Robot Soul, Sapent Ape, Srabontee Ali and ABD before a live audience.
‘The party scene that has been developing in Dhaka over the last decade caters only to the elite class of people who can pay 3000 to 5000 taka or more just for entry to those parties. We want to produce music that can be accessed by the masses. Entertainment should not be made for only the wealthy class of the society,’ Faisal asserted.

Artwork by Humairah Shams for the fourth DES compilation, Nyurutsu.

Artwork by Humairah Shams for the fourth DES compilation, Nyurutsu.

Currently, DES is working on the idea of incorporating Puthi, traditional oral stories of Bangladesh to electronic music and create a unique genre of music that they want to be known as ‘Puthi Tronica’. Faisal and the young artists of DES hope that ‘Puthi Tronica’ can become ‘The sound of Dhaka’ or perhaps ‘Dhaka Tronica’ in the global electronic music scene. ‘Our artists are also working on incorporating the language of indigenous Bangladeshi people with electronic music. There is huge potential in Puthi and indigenous music that can become a part of mainstream electronica,’ Faisal added.
DES has already released its first experimental Puthi Tronica track digitally on soundcloud.com.
Faisal claimed that the media in the more advanced countries promote their musicians a lot more when compared to the media in Bangladesh, especially when it comes to music genres that are not part of the mainstream music industry of Bangladesh. ‘In Bangladesh, electronic music is becoming more and more popular with the young audience, but still we are neglected by the media compared to other musicians. We already have more than a hundred artists working under our banner, and we aim to keep discovering more fresh talents who will become part of this music community.’
Only very recently, recording companies like Incursion have come up with electronic music labels like ‘Electro’ and others to promote the electronic music production in the country. Different recording labels can benefit immensely from a platform like DES, as they are discovering and training new young musicians in this field. Recently DES co-organised a workshop titled Soundlab with the Goethe Institut and Border Movement to provide training for upcoming young music producers from Dhaka and Chittagong. The efforts and the vision of DES can serve as a platform for yet hundreds of more young aspiring music producers and can eventually bring global recognition in the field of electronic music.

One Comment

  1. Nashaad, not Nashed. kthanksbye

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