Radiodiffusion Internasionaal Annexe

M. A. Shoeb
April 3, 2010, 9:18 pm
Filed under: Bangladesh


Besides Libya, the other country that I have been really wanting to cover has been Bangladesh. When I sent out the call back in January, Peter Doolan – who curates the amazing Monrakplengthai – sent me this track. Originally I had intended for him to write a guest post, but then he up and moved to Thailand. So, he left it in my hands to fill in the blanks. All he could tell me was that “I found the tape in a sort of Bangladeshi plaza at Jackson Heights in Queens, New York.”

Bangladesh is a relatively new country, only officially being established in 1971. The country, which had previous been called East Pakistan after the partition of Bengal, won it’s independence in the Bangladesh Liberation War. After independence the new state endured famines, natural disasters and widespread poverty, as well as political turmoil and military coups.

Bangla music has been traditionally classified by the region of origin and / or the creators of the musical genre, such as Nazrul geeti (written and composed by Kazi Nazrul Islam), ghombhira (unique to a specific area in Bangladesh), etc. But in the post-independence period, several new minor musical groups emerged, mainly as playback songs for movies. These songs failed to fit into any particular genre, but seemed to be tied together by common theme of “music for the masses”. Most of the music tended to be aimed at the mainstream audience – popular catchy tunes with simple words that were far moved from the classical ragas. Hence, a miscellaneous category called Adhunik songeet – or Modern Song – was created.

M. A. Shoeb, along with Nazibul Haque, Kumar Biswajit, and Andrew Kishore released some very first Bangla pop songs in the beginning of 1980s. Shoeb has recorded at least a dozen albums, with a total of somewhere around 500 songs – some of which were for film and television soundtracks. His son, Saifullah Shoeb, has recently followed in his father’s footsteps in the music industry. As of 2007, M. A. Shoeb was living in Los Angeles, California and was still performing around the United States.

Catalog number D001 (listed as DV01 on the front cover) on Disco Recording. No other information available.