Category: Sounds

November 29, 2017 /

It is true that Bhupen Hazarika’s political views took a significant turn in his later life and in many ways he became the cynosure of conservative politicians of different hues. We should add to it our collective misfortune that there is no dearth of politicians in this country who can appropriate a cultural capital towards a political end and turn it to material/ military/ electoral gain

May 12, 2017 /

What do you do when you hear a hear a voice from 1928 rushing to tell you the Parable of the prodigal son? Did our language sound like that? Why did he stumble? Who was he? Where did he record it? How was the narrator chosen? Did he get paid for it or was he forced to do begaar? When we discovered these scratchy gramophone recordings done for The Linguistic Survey of India in 1928-29 we had to share it. For us reasons are not merely historical or linguistic but emotional like divining the dead. So go ahead and listen to our ancestors speaking Khasi, Pnar and War.

January 8, 2017 /

The Bravery were never a very big band. The reason I heard of them was mainly because they were supposed to have been the chief rivals of The Killers. Those were the years when every band in the world had to have the word “the” somewhere in their name. One day we shall have to explain that phenomenon to our kids.

December 18, 2016 /

Raioteers, once a week we deserve to unwind after the crappy craziness of Indian politics and the gradual obliteration of our senses and so we thought we would introduce a Raiot Jukebox to nudge out the noise with soothing (and sometimes not so soothing) music. If you have a jukebox to share do send us your playlist.

December 11, 2016 /

Raioteers, once a week we deserve to unwind after the crappy craziness of Indian politics and the gradual obliteration of our senses and so we thought we would introduce a Raiot Jukebox to nudge out the noise with soothing (and sometimes not so soothing) music. If you have a jukebox to share do send us your playlist.

April 22, 2016 /

2016 has dimmed the lights of two truly great artists –David Bowie and Prince. Both share a lot in common- their blurring of the lines of gender, sexuality and identity and their expansion of the vocabulary and possibilities of popular music. But in one area they differ. Bowie brought into pop music sensibilities from modern art, architecture and classical music but Prince developed into high art the popular black styles he loved. His work is art without being ‘arty’.

January 15, 2016 /

I grew up in Shillong in the 1970s.
My sister went to Loreto, me to Pine Mount, and in that insular world of ours all that mattered was the grades we got in school and the prizes I won for the (mostly Bengali) songs I sang at Ananda Sammelan.
Then we left.
Then we chose to leave.
Then we had to leave.

December 5, 2015 /

MIA has sold over a million copies of her albums and god knows how many more downloads and in contrast to Bollywood actresses attempting crossovers, hers is really the story of a girl from south Asia making it big in the west. The fact that she made it by rapping about issues that most pop stars wouldn’t touch with a barge pole is all the more remarkable.

November 30, 2015 /

Released on YouTube in 2011, Gwyneth Alicia Mawlong’s “Syrngiew” is one of the most path-breaking musical productions emerging from Shillong, at least in the past decade. Its radicality lies both in its form and content. It is a Khasi song which beautifully expresses frustration and sadness over a love crippled by social detestation and non-acceptance, by virtue of its unconventional nature.

November 9, 2015 /

“Our land has a history of being ruled by tyrants and hypocritical regimes, but we Kashmiris have always voiced our opinion against that. I couldn’t stay silent on this issue. This is a protest song against a political gimmick set to undermine the kashmir issue and to influence our Kashmiri sensibilities through pseudo monetary packages. A shame full event done in the name of democracy.”
Ali Saffudin