Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Realities and Revival Thoughts: ‘mA’AREFOTER pOTAKA’ my upcoming album

It has been almost six years that I haven’t come up with a new album. Expectations from my fans being dizzyingly high I have been wary and the pressure immense, yet I found no comfort in even conceiving an idea for an album….any album, in my long hiatus.

The last 5 years have been far too stressful and painful on my personal life front and not that my creativity has faltered in anyway, quite on the contrary I found myself more and more disillusioned with the very face and right turnabout of our so-called “Music Industry”.

While the patent question from everybody was “Maqsood bhai – when is your next album due”, I have too often chewed on my own pride and swallowed one too many hard breath, because what I couldn’t tell anybody is the truth – that not a single company in Bangladesh has come up with any 'final offer' to record my album in the last five year!

They may be having their good reasons, as much as I did, but I did place 'serious conditions' when a few offers came my way, which made many of these so-called “productions” and “event-management” dalals raise their eyebrows.

The condition was FAIRPLAY and I thought somebody in Bangladesh needs not only to raise a voice against the cattle-trading dirty politics going about in the name of the “Music Industry” – blatantly with each passing day it is becoming more and more obvious to me that this great art form, this great gift from gOD to us is being reduced to, forgive my expression - musical prostitution.

I wanted fairplay that is guaranteed by law in Bangladesh and practiced everywhere in the world. I wanted musicians to be no longer considered a commodity (item!) for a handful of illiterate music merchants from Patuatooly in old Dhaka for their lifelong gain.

Rather all of us musicians be guaranteed to our legitimate rights, THROUGH ROYALTY – for all our lives, for all our successors.

I hope I have everybody’s support for this undertaking which I am sure will not only improve the life and livelihood and future of all musicians, importantly it will set high standards of music and the vexed matter of piracy can be handled head on.

My stand on piracy has been controversial, for the current ongoing campaigns does anything and everything under-the-sun to keep music swindlers and some of their media hyped “stars” and “superstars” alive and in the business – not musicians – not even the young dude on the block struggling with an awesome band and who is denied the destiny of even being heard – without some backing from fizz or SIM marketeers.

My arguments have been - since I do not have any personal financial stake to my work after it is released, why should I be bothered if the so-called “production” is loosing revenues to pirates?

If we are entitled to royalty which the law guarantees and productions companies such as the now struggling Ektaar Music, or Arshi etc have made it possible, or least prove that the system works, my earnest pleas to Khalid of G-Series a company I helped come to national limelight through release my 1997 album “Prapto Boyesheker Nishiddho”, that he follow a similar system so that all the progressive bands fitting the ‘underground’ label and working for him – be NOT denied of their royalty – was met with stiff resistance, in fact I have been sneered at.

I am surprised why all the brilliant, highly literate musicians from great family backgrounds are not sitting down with G-Series to break off from this hugely exploitative culture of the company and make them start paying royalties? If we cant be honest now, and cannot put a honest proposal forward, I regret to have to warn you, despite fact that I am no Prophet, that all of your days are numbered dude.

I really don’t give a hoot who is thinking what about my proposal, but to all conscious musicians out there – please give the matter a serious think, for much more is at stake than just singing a few songs, cutting a few albums, playing a few concerts and telling each other how “great” we are in forums like Amadergaan.com ?

If we passionately love music and want to take the nation forward, the time is now to stand up for our right and ask from companies what is genuinely ours. If anybody is going to be made a sacrificial lamb in this earnest endeavour, LET IT BE ME, but honest to gOD I am not prepared to release my next album ‘mA’AREFOTER pOTAKA’ till these vexed maters are sorted out.

Which brings me now to the next point – my album ‘mA’AREFOTER pOTAKA’, which incidentally is not a dHAKA album, but one in which I am working with many young and sometimes even unheard of musicians.

As the title suggest it is a so-called “folk-fusion” album, but at the same time it also conveys serious socio-political commentaries.

The greatest feather in my cap and in this album is that my lifetime guru and former band leader Foad Nasser Babu from my erstwhile band Feedback is playing keyboards on all tracks. He has completed 4 by now.

The musical genre veers between seventies jazz, and sixties rock with my most noted collaborater being Murshed, a heavily Keith Richard and ZZ Top influenced guitarist, song-writer, and a poet who has set some 200 songs to music - but not recorded.

Murshed who I have known and worked with since 1994, went off to the US and played in pubs and college campuses there while he finished his Masters in Participatory Planning. To my reckoning he is a Bangladeshi Bob Dylan who has survived in the underground for over 20 years forming a band like Feel Bangla with the flutist Zubair or the racier Husbands Gone Underground – a band he formed after he married. His wife is yet unaware that he is so actively collaborating with me! That I hope explains UNDERGROUND for you guys in FULLS CAP!

I expect to finish the album just after Boishakh and since my Buddhist brother Titi (who quarrels with me almost everyday!) of Sound Machine is bearing all the expenses for recording, marketing and distributing the album, as much as me and Harold Rasheed are backing him form the production company /\ bONDONA\/, that will uphold our fight for artist protection and intellectual property right guarantee with legitimate royalty schemes for all musicians (just not me alone) – release date will be announced by him through Amadergaan.com as Net partners very shortly. Expect atleast ONE SONG FROM THE ALBUM TO BE STREAMED ON AG - anyday....


In the meantime do pray for me all of you and jOI gURU to all.

I am happy with all thats happening around me.

Mac

Here is a description of songs and musicians who played in some of the songs:

Song: Lalon Bondona
Collected work

Keyboards: Foad Nasser Babu (FEEDBACK)
Flute :Jalal
Khole and Naal: Shafik
Mondira: Monjila
Swaraj: Baul Mohammed Hashem Chisti from Kelpur, Joypurhat
Guitar: Murshed (Feel Bangla, Husbands Gone Underground)
Guitar: Harold Rasheed (Ajob, Ooojaan)
Ghatam: Tony (BLACK)
Drums: Dio (NEMESIS)
Bass: Sharton
Lead Vocals: Mac
Duet: Cynthia (Doyal gURU)
Chorus: Amit, Neetu, Rajoo (Taan), Hashem Chisti

Song: Kemon Ache Radha Bol
Lyrics and Tune: Noyon Raja from Mymensingh
Kirton Rock

Keyboards: Foad Nasser Babu (FEEDBACK)
Flute :Jalal
Khole and Naal: Shafik
Mondira: Monjila
Swaraj: Baul Mohammed Hashem Chisti from Kelpur, Joypurhat
Guitar: Murshed (Feel Bangla, Husbands Gone Underground)
Guitar: Harold Rasheed (Ajob, Ooojaan)
Guitar: Russell (dHAKA)
Drums: Dio (NEMESIS)
Bass: Sharton
Lead Vocals: Mac
Duet: Cynthia (Doyal gURU)
Chorus: Amit, Neetu, Rajoo (Taan),

Song: Bolai Dadar Gamcha
Assam-Bangla Fusion
Tune and Lyrics: Baul Tajul Islam, a New York based Graphic designer, the former lead vocalist of SOULS from Chittagong. Tapan Chowdhury joined the band after he left for the US.

Keyboards: Foad Nasser Babu (FEEDBACK)
Flute: Jalal
Guitar: Murshed (Feel Bangla, Husbands Gone Underground)
Guitar: Russell (dHAKA)
Drums: Dio (NEMESIS)
Bass: Ratool (NEMESIS)
Lead Vocals: Mac
Duet: Cynthia (Doyal gURU)
Chorus: Amit, Neetu, Rajoo (Taan),

Link

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