How A Homegrown Record Label Is Preserving Bengal’s Heritage Through Experimental Music

How A Homegrown Record Label Is Preserving Bengal’s Heritage Through Experimental Music

In the diverse symphony of contemporary music, Noise emerges as a genre that defies the conventional boundaries between musical and non-musical sound. Much like the unique auditory tapestry that defines a city or place, Noise music becomes an art form capable of encapsulating the very soul of a locale, culture, or people, crafting a sonic essence that transcends traditional musical norms.

Here at home, Biswa Bangla Noise, a record label is doing something similar as a vanguard, spearheading experimental music deeply rooted in the contemporary cultural expressions of West Bengal. The label, echoing the heartbeat of this vibrant state, intricately weaves together the threads of art, craft, and culture to create a tapestry that connects both the common man and the connoisseur to the lives of Bengal's people and their myriad expressions.

Biswa Bangla Noise's sound design is a meticulous dance between retaining the deep-rooted elements of the state's rich heritage and strategically infusing a contemporary design to resonate with the needs of the modern era. It's a fusion where tradition meets innovation, creating a space where the sonic language becomes a vessel for cultural preservation and exploration.

Among the label's noteworthy releases is the debut album, Opei, by Kolkata-based sound design outfit Human Harmonics. Comprising four tracks composed between 2019 and 2023, the album takes a departure from traditional synths, utilizing solely drums and manipulated 808s. The result is an abstract and discomforting yet hauntingly familiar soundscape, a testament to the label's commitment to pushing the boundaries of sonic exploration.

Biswa Bangla Noise's inaugural compilation delves into Bengali ambient music, featuring nine artists pivotal in the experimental and noise scene in Kolkata and West Bengal. Notably, the compilation includes the essential figure Debopom Ghosh Must Be Killed, whose influence extends to the realms of Noise and Black Metal in Bangladesh.

Table Manners, another compelling release, emerges from Kolkata-based noise and sound artist Haved Jabib. The compilation, laden with slow-burning, sample-heavy field recordings and noise, becomes a celebration of the profound experience of eating and residing within a joint family, offering listeners an unconventional auditory journey.

"Our mission currently is to find more new and upcoming artists exploring with new ways to make music either in West Bengal or in more parts of India or Bangladesh that share a similar cultural identity and to give these artists a platform where they can freely express themselves outside of any judgement. To kind of document the kind of experimental and alternative sound of music coming from slightly more fringe parts of the country that otherwise wouldn't have the large scale exposure that they would get if they were from a major city", shares the label. In essence, Biswa Bangla Noise emerges as a curator of sonic alchemy, blending the old with the new to create an auditory experience that resonates with the soul of West Bengal while pushing the boundaries of experimental music on a global stage.

Follow Biswa Bangla Noise here.