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Best of 2021


Anthology of Exploratory Music From India

Label: Unexplained Sounds Group

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

In stock


**200 copies** The new Unexplained Sounds Group’s compilation of exploratory music and sound works from India intends to present a comprehensive collection of sonic practices that have emerged from the desire to break away from India’s traditional sounds, e.g. classical music and folk tunes, while simultaneously drawing on ideas and inspirations from these lineages and auditory heritages in the form of recurring motifs and sonorities as well as textures and open-ended compositions. It features Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, Hemant Sreekumar, Bidisha Das, Debashis Sinha, Varun Desai, Sandeep Bhagwati, Farah Mulla, Surabhi Saraf, Clarence Barlow, Ish Sherawat, Rajesh Mehta, Sukanta Majumdar. The fragile but complex connection between tradition and modernity is the crucial point of entry in this body of works contributed by Indian-born sound artists and experimental musicians. What is ‘sound art’ and what is ‘experimental’ can be debated at length, but sound art is a Western construct, and experiment is something Indian musicians have long been engaged in whilst keeping their traditions alive and transformative. What is new in this compilation is locating the tension between historical trajectories of sound thinking and the intervention of modernist technologies like recording and mixing that the artists continue to negotiate through their interpretations and reconfigurations of temporality and spatiality. That is why the western invention of CD as a form of sonic object-hood can be a constraint for Indian sound practitioners. This compilation therefore asks its listener to consider the CD just a trace of the sound experience, while the actual listening is ephemeral. This spatiotemporal tension uncovers a few questions around (de)coloniality and its shadows on emerging sonic practices in South Asia with new perspectives. The release, co-curated by Raffaele Pezzella and Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, contributes to the ongoing research Connecting Resonances that encourages critically listening to the sound practices and auditory cultures in the Global South with an interest in sonic confluences and decoloniality, to stand on the right side of music history.

Cat. number: USG071
Year: 2021
Cover image: Ancient Indian painting (representing Brahma in the act of creation). The Rajesh Mehta's title track was wrongly printed on the cd cover. The correct title is not "Ex Raga", but "Sky Cage (excerpt)"

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