Audio Postcard

Excavation Series Bonus – Old/New Delhi December 2017

Greetings from Old/New Delhi.

It’s been a month of discovery and nostalgia.

Today an afternoon vacation kind of vibe finally sitting outside under semi-clear blue skies. The onset of winter as the shadows linger beneath this tree’s canopy. These gently swaying branches and the birds chirping and swooping back and forth between their hangs, so many green parakeets here, are they happy?

This state-sponsored oasis rolls on behind these four walls but tomorrow the dusty gray city will beckon again, tragic and irresistible. We all breathe it in. The work week flies by in a minute; learning the parts of the machine, fascinating in its glorious decay.

Off-hours I dive back into favorite sounds, visions and colors (ragas!). The radio frequencies have changed though, can’t find what I used to all those years ago. Cassettes have disappeared too. Music on physical formats is hard to track down. Everything up on that damn cloud now, apparently. Still I do find and rescue some treasures from dust-encrusted corners of the old city.

Catching music live too is hit and miss. There are some venues which present Indian classical in an appropriate way without any corporate or government-sponsored BS. The underground stuff is sadly lacking though so far, nothing like our beloved (and sorely missed) Rhizome to speak of. Slowly making some contacts so let’s see.

At least the diplomatic pouch thing works. It means I can receive packages sent from ‘home’ without any International shipping charges. As I wrap up these notes, our latest Excavation Series batch just landed. Thanks to you all for the awesome response. It’s a joy to share these sounds. Looking forward to 2018: we have more rad releases lined up so stay tuned…

Currently reading:

1. The Lost World of Hindustani Music (Kumar Prasad Mukherji)
2. Visions of Development: Films Division of India and the Imagination of Progress, 1948-75 (Peter Sutoris)

For now, an audio postcard from here:

Peace out to you and yours. See you on the other side!
Phong Tran

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