REProduce Silent Barn | Listening Room
Mon, January 23 '17
** Door $12 / Advance $10 **
On Sunday, January 23rd, New Delhi based music collective REProduce Artists will bring REProduce Listening Room to New York City. The series aims to fill a gap in the ever iterating and increasingly varied community of live music in India by showcasing talent that might not get heard in the more mainstream oriented venues. Listening Room will focus purely on the music – in a space where an audience can absorb sound on their own terms.
This seventeenth edition of Listening Room will unfold at The Silent Barn, and will offer a rare insight into the fertile landscape of electronic live music production that Karachi presents, juxtaposed with artistry from closer to home.
In a sort of opposition to where the nation is placed in the global imagination, the past ten years has seen a surge of uncompromising live electronic music production in Pakistan, with Karachi being a focal point. While Pakistan - since the mid 1970s - has mostly disallowed the model of selling alcohol to finance the business of bringing this music to a public, these limitations have served to catalyze other means by which to organise and present musical artistry to a public.
noahs heark, ?????, ????????, and Smax are all part of a number collectives and labels that have been instrumental in allowing these signature sounds - and a nascent culture - to emerge and be heard beyond Karachi. Catalysed by Mooshy Moo, a collective helmed by now Turkey based but Karachi bred producer Dalt Wisney, DIY spaces throughout the city (such as The Second Floor (T2F)) would serve as a sort of breeding ground for this body of work. Mole, a seminal Karachi band comprised of three of these artists played these spaces often, but by 2012, the events began to wane somewhat, due primarily to artists migrating away from Karachi. The events, however, would serve as a highly formative time for the artists presented here to find their own voices as solo producers.
Concurrently, this community began to form labels - Foreversouth Music being one example, helmed by Karachi based producer Rudoh and now LA based producer Dynoman, and more recently, Hear Now Records, a label directed by noah heark and Smax. By virtue of many of the original artists shifting base to the US, or pursuing graduate studies outside of Pakistan, contexts for further iterations on this body of work would continue in different contexts, one example being DEL/SER (bit.ly/2jUHyeB), a collective of artists helmed by ???????? and ?????.
All of this has forged a signature sound to emerge from Pakistan - one borne of an independent ethic of engineering events in the shadow of a state that presents sometimes unimaginable challenges.
In a sort of mirror to this, the sound of NYC based four piece Humeysha was formed over the course of one year spent by front man Zain Alam in New Delhi. While conducting research for The 1947 Partition Archive, a crowdfunded platform that compiles the experiences of what the partition of India and Pakistan post British independence presented, the basis of Humeysha began to take shape - one that finds a sound influenced as much as the drone motifs of shoegaze as the tanpura (bit.ly/2isppo4). Their sound draws from a variety of musical genres, and an idenity politic that is straddles both an imagined and a lived experience of being South Asian in the USA.
Tarana on the other hand found their signature in the reverse direction. Born in Hyderabad in India, Ravish Momin spent his early adolescence in a variety of countries given his father’s work with the State Bank of India, ultimately landing in NYC. Trained as an engineer, he took lessons in playing the tabla over the course of his studies, presenting him ultimately with a decision: to become an engineer, or to pursue what was rapidly emerging as an obsession with percussion. He chose the latter; moving away from the tabla and into free jazz percussion, he began training under the guidance of Andrew Cyrille, and was soon touring internationally in with legendary avant-sax legend Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, an original member of the Chicago AACM, as well, of all people, Shakira. They have performed at major festivals and venues in the US and beyond such as the Kennedy Center and Rough Trade NYC. For this show, Ravish will be performing solo, weaving together live free jazz inspired drum motifs with electronic production and sequencing, and sounding unlike anything else.
Closing out the night is a DJ set from NYC's own Dapwell, whose own history straddles live music (bit.ly/1PLy0qw), radio production (bit.ly/2jVlrEW), video interventions (bit.ly/2isrS1H), and more recently, stand up comedy (bit.ly/2iwGCbe). Self described as a man of "indefinable abilities", Ashok will most likely have a thermos of some sort of tea infusion in his posession.
All of these acts may share a common landscape of South Asia, but given their histories and the varied nature the stories that underpin their musical narrative, it’s impossible to really place where their music is embedded. And that very well may be the point. The tropes of what “South Asian” mean in a musical context may have been limited to Bollywood of classical esoterica for years, but what we are seeing now - perhaps due to a combination of how electronic music production democratizes who can make music, how the internet serves to transpose and translate cultural signals on to disparate regions, and the expectations that sometimes opposing generations of the South Asian community view artistic careers as something to encourage and pursue - is unlike any other point in time. This event presents an insight into what this may mean in practice.
For more information please visit:
The Silent Barn: silentbarn.org REProduce Artists: reproduceartists.com REProduce Listening Room: win.gs/2jVx7ri