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Timeline of Electronic Music in Dhaka

written by BCBD Magazine March 12, 2016

As said by Fahad Zaman and put to words by Raisa Rahman.


As far as I can recall, the first thing I learned about Electronic Music was the difference between a DJ set and live performance. “DJ sets” are when the DJ mixes one track after another, creating an experience where people can dance til they drop, have fun with their friends etc where as “Live performances” are basically performing electronic music live, not just DJ-ing. But actually playing it like a rock-band would play. Live electronic performances can be of any sub-genre, it can be house, trance, techno, dubstep, dub, trip hop, glitch hop, future bass.

I remember the scene started a long time back, back in 1995. When I was young, my uncle’s friend used to spin. So I believe it started around or before that time. Ever since, DJs or DJ-ing became popular in Bangladesh. DJs soon took over the dance floors in House parties, Clubs, Hotels and seasonal / occasional events. Then around the mid 2000s, I’ve personally seen people producing from there own house. They used to make house, trance, techno and hip hop instrumentals. Bringing in a massive number of producers into the scene. Since there weren’t any platform like SoundCloud, people used to connect through Facebook groups/pages, SoundClick or through personal contact.

In a similar manner I met Omer Nashaad, back then he was Dj-ing at various events in the “Nordic Club” or “International Club”. He also used to produce. I used to hang out at his place for hours taking tips on production, synthesizers etc. Then we did a few gigs for the “Nordic Club”, “House parties” and “Goethe”, where Omer Nashaad was the DJ and I handled live visuals (this I believe was the first set of shows were live visuals were used in a party).

Then Omer Nashaad met Khan Mohd. Faisal online and opened a Facebook group called Dhaka Electronica Scene, there producers, performers and DJs could share their music, discuss, plan events etc. Initially there were a couple of core members, I was there along with Farzan Hassan (KymaTrip), Rubayyat Akbar (Koshai), Dr3amer, Navid Kaiser, Don Donadoni, Misha Ali, Rizvi RV. Through that platform we started releasing compilations / albums online. The first one was called Explorations, where songs by local producers were compiled and digitally marketed worldwide.

Then the scene grew with more members such as Shoummo Saha (Space/Ghost), Raiyan Ahmed (Madman’s Vault) and a lot of other people joined in. We started hosting shows at the Goethe, where live performances were promoted rather than DJ sets. We also had a 5 day workshop hosted by “bordermovement.com” where artists from BLOT!, Sulk Station and Pererra Elsewhere came and gave us tutorials on Live Electronic Music Performance.

Slowly the scene kept on growing and then after a point, RIOT was formed by Omer Nashaad, Farzan Hassan, Rubayyat Akbar, Zaeed Zubair and Fahad Zaman with the goal to groom and guide local producers, give them the exposure they deserve and so on.

There are, of course, more talents out there and we are trying to help them get exposure. My advise – follow your dream and soon you will get the doors to it.

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