Compassion, Collaboration & Acceptance: How Music Collectives In South Asia Are Forging New Paths For Artistes

Image of Tenma from The Casteless Collective shot by Madhavan Palanisamy.

The creation and nurturing of a ‘community’ through music collectives have given rise to some of the most powerful social and cultural movements in South Asia. While some strived to construct a space for artists beyond the conventions of mainstream culture, others offered a safe space for dialogue on prevalent issues including discrimination, social injustice and cultural diversity. Such collectives have played a crucial role in organising artists from diverse backgrounds by offering a ground where varied artistic explorations could co-exist. We strike a conversation with some of the collectives in the region and understand in depth how their journey helped pave the way forward for a generation of artists.


NEWS - 07. March 2022  

The Evolving Role Of Labels In South Asia

Image of Sunara playing at Pettah Interchange in Colombo. Image credit Malaka MP

Old-timey incarnations of record labels — glitz, glamour, big money and big exploitation — are great to watch in movies, but their relevance has diminished over the past two decades. The music industry, internationally, is in a perpetual state of rebuild. And so new ways forward emerge from time to time.

In South Asia, the young, independent, non-film music communities — the ones with roots in traditional western sounds — remain on the fringes of the mainstream, if at all. They’ve grown almost as countercultures, gradually finding some footing in the culture space of the region over the past decade or so, through dedicated ground work by artists and industry-persons. In such an environment, record labels no longer play traditional roles. Instead, there’s a coexistence of multiple bespoke approaches. What we get, really, are collectives — organisations that, depending on their scale and the interests of the people involved — work within loosely defined capacities within the industry. 


NEWS - 05. October 2020  

Disco Puppet, The Complications Of Human Interactions, & A Murder

Image credit: Ali Bharmal

Is Shoumik Biswas growing old? He’s definitely growing up, if his new Disco Puppet album, ‘Aranyer Dinratri’, is anything to go by. Disco Puppet’s past works have been defined by unpredictability, perhaps even a kind of designed recklessness. In his own words, his songs have always been “disconnected” from each other, serving largely as a “collection of things put together”. Here, Biswas ditches his yo-yo tendencies in service of a unified sonic narrative, a kind of sameness tying all the songs off ‘Aranyer Dinratri’ together. 


NEWS - 21. October 2019   CITY - Bangalore ARTIST - Disco Puppet

Independent Record Labels In South Asia

Image courtesy: Consolidate

Independent record labels and DIY culture have made it possible for many artists across the globe to get their music to a wide section of listeners. While it may not necessarily be a profit making venture at first, there is something hugely rewarding and futuristic about the ability to nurture fresh talent without jeopordising creative freedom; a huge contrast to the former model where big record labels called the shots. There are a number of small and active record labels all over South Asia who are supporting artists and consistently releasing good music. We compiled a list of labels based in South Asia that reflect the beauty of a DIY approach.


NEWS - 04. December 2017  

In Conversation With bangaloREsidency Artist Felix Deufel

a11698999_849935695042136_3893713432716354614_o-1024x576Image courtesy of Felix Deufel

Felix Deufel doesn’t look at music the way most of us do.


NEWS - 08. November 2017   CITY - Bangalore ARTIST - Felix Deufel

Electronic Music Can Be The New Form Of Protest: Aniruddh Menon Talks About His Debut Album ‘Lovesongs’

aAlbum-Art-Florian-DreImage credit: Florian Dre

23-year-old Aniruddh Menon is a creative entity to say the least. His transition into music production was initiated by his experience as a drummer and fuelled by his love for sampling. He made his mark with Machli, a Bangalore band which turned heads with their ‘Obtuse + Divine’ EP. Finally, Menon has put out his debut full length solo album, ‘Lovesongs‘.


NEWS - 07. March 2017   CITY - Bangalore ARTIST - Aniruddh Menon

Bangalore: German Psychedelic Rock Icons Colour Haze Set To Headline Indie March Music Festival


If you Google Colour Haze you’ll find options to buy their music, chords for nearly all of their songs and one reoccurring press image of them standing on the stairs of a subway station. There are hardly any articles, interviews or reviews. But in the ones you find (beginning on Google page 5) it is clear that they are regarded as legends and “leading lights of the European stoner rock scene”.


NEWS - 18. March 2016   CITY - Bangalore ARTIST - Colour Haze

Bangalore: Goethe Presents IDM Workshop Part III With Orson Wells


As part of the Over&Out Festival taking place 11-13 March – Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore are presenting an interactive session on music production and DJing using turnatables with German DJ Orson Wells. The workshop will take place on 11 March at Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore and will be hosted by Pawas.


NEWS - 08. March 2016   CITY - Bangalore ARTIST - Pawas Gupta

Globally Magnetic


In its third year, Magnetic Fields Festival takes the leap from local player to international powerhouse.

When I first came to Alsisar Mahal, the site of Magnetic Fields Festival, there was no tent village. There were no brightly coloured festival freaks in all manners of fantastical attire. There was just a lovely palace in a small town about half of the way down the road from Delhi to Bikaner.


NEWS - 24. February 2016   Project - Magnetic Fields 2015

Chaithanya Jade: Where Music Meets Poetry & Philosophy


Restoring faith in the cumulative effort of cultivating a universal cultural expression, music has enabled many of those who wished to explore and re-discover reality through varied perspectives. Displaying a continuum of human spirit at the core of a strong artistic identity, Chaithanya Jade’s musical exploration is a synchronous merge of poetry and philosophy. “To create something good, you need to have a strong sense of identity. And that stems from how someone’s thinking, which is influenced by philosophy. I guess all great musicians would make excellent philosophers,” said the Bangalore-based musician whose foray into the world of post rock, experimental and electronica with Superflow and Until We Last has enabled him to deepen his understanding of the different realms of intangible musical expression.


NEWS - 27. November 2015   CITY - Bangalore ARTIST - Until We Last

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