India has always been known for its rich cultural heritage, and its music scene is no exception. However, few people outside of the country are aware of the vibrant electronic music scene that existed in India during the 1960s and 1970s. Thanks to the National Institute of Design (NID), this hidden gem has finally been uncovered, and the world can now experience the unique sound of Indian electronic music.
The NID Tapes: Electronic Music From India 1969-1972 is a collection of rare and previously unreleased tracks that showcase the innovative and experimental approach of Indian musicians during that era. Compiled by the renowned music historian and collector, Rohan Kumar, this album takes listeners on a fascinating journey through time, revealing a side of India’s musical history that was long forgotten.
One of the standout features of The NID Tapes is the blending of traditional Indian classical music with Western electronic elements. This fusion creates a distinct sound that is both familiar and exotic, making it accessible to listeners around the globe. From the haunting melodies of “Raga Bageshree” by Charanjit Singh to the psychedelic beats of “Jaat Kahan Ho” by The Quest, every track on the album offers something new and exciting.
What makes The NID Tapes even more remarkable is the story behind its creation. During the 1960s and 1970s, the NID was established as a premier design institute in India, offering courses in various disciplines such as graphic design, textiles, and product design. As part of their curriculum, students were encouraged to experiment with music and sound design, which led to the creation of these electronic music compositions. These recordings were never meant to be commercial releases; instead, they were used as background scores for student projects, fashion shows, and art installations.
Decades later, Rohan Kumar stumbled upon these forgotten gems while researching Indian electronic music. He spent countless hours digging through archives, tracking down former NID students, and restoring old reels to compile The NID Tapes. His passion and dedication have resulted in a truly unique album that celebrates India’s contributions to the global electronic music scene.
The release of The NID Tapes could not come at a better time. With renewed interest in retro electronica and vinyl culture, this album fills a gap in music history, providing a fresh perspective on India’s rich cultural heritage. It also underscores the importance of preserving our sonic past, ensuring that future generations can appreciate and learn from these hidden treasures.
As we delve deeper into the 21st century, it’s clear that The NID Tapes are not just a nostalgic trip down memory lane. They represent a bridge between India’s past and present, showcasing the country’s ability to innovate and push boundaries in the realm of electronic music. For anyone interested in exploring the diverse sounds of India, The NID Tapes are an essential addition to their music library. So, put on your headphones, close your eyes, and let the hypnotic rhythms transport you to a different era – one where creativity knew no bounds.