Quality vs Quantity

Over the past decade, the underground music scene of Bangladesh has experienced rapid growth. Even in 2001/2002 there were only a handful of bands and a record deal was very hard to get. The competition was fierce, and only the ablest bands survived, while many of the old bands called it off, being unable to support their music.

Today, we are experiencing a rapid growth in the scene. There are more bands, greater availability of equipment, and more people willing to invest in young talent. Musicians are getting more opportunities to express their music and the whole scene is more recognized. Unfortunately the quality of music has deteriorated. Since anyone who can afford an instrument can form a band, regardless of actual talent,  there is less pressure to perform well, and the quality of the music suffers.

There are almost 2/3 concerts every week, at the SAME venue, with the SAME band lineup ! Concerts are now more about making money and socializing than actual music. The songs that the new bands cover are actually horrifying in a sense that they sound nothing like the original. The quality that bands like Fulbanu’s Revenge, Migraine, Part of the Scenery, Neurosis, The Attempted Band, etc once had are far better than the quality these bands have now. However, some bands from that time (eg – Nemesis, Breach, Vibe) are still holding on to the solid and great quality they had.

Well this is just what I think. I’m sure people have different views about the current situation. But there should be some quality control system or some weird system that would bring back the great quality the underground scene once had.

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5 Responses to “Quality vs Quantity”

  1. What I’ve noticed while reading this piece is its tone. It is much like a musician speaking out for every one of us, both entertainers and the listeners. I detect frustration, possibly coming from going to the same place over and over again, and doing the same thing. However, I would disagree on the “Today, we are experiencing a rapid growth in the scene” part because the word “growth” holds a comprehensive meaning for the industry. This is because none in their highest ranks are doing anything about it (the industry’s growth). I would honestly much rather sit in one place and keep complaining, but the truth is that, enough is enough, lets stand up and unite all of us and talk business!

  2. I completely agree with you. The standard has gone down a lot. There are way too many concerts and almost all of them have the same band lineup and are in the same venue. The scene was definitely better before.

  3. Mufrad Zafar Says:

    I think it’s great that every aspiring musician in our little scene has the opportunity to get their go at a live show. With that being said with every opportunity also comes our innate ethnic disposition to exploit opportunity completely to dust. I too long for the good old days when the underground was inspiration and not retardation. The question is “Why?” Why de- evolve? It’s not that we don’t hold the capacity to recognize good music it’s the fact that some of us give “shit” recognition as well. The only reason why these concerts still get break even turn ups is because people have somehow lost the concept completely. This is where good music brews to perfection not where shit rots to swarms of flies. So how I see it basically is it’s us against them. Let’s bring out the fly swatters I say!!! Who’s with me!!

  4. Farzana Khan Says:

    I disagree with all you lot above! Sure there are more bands with a lower quality grade out there – but It’s just a sign of there being more people willing to take up alternative forms of careers which were traditionally seen as not really “professional” in the eyes of the elder generation. Now that the industry has picked up, regardless of its flaws – young people are breaking that stereotype.. and as a result, this has been a good thing for all musicians – whether they are old school established and well known or not.

    More musicians, concerts etc have a few great advantages. It pushes current musicians in the market to try new forms, variations and styles. They utilise technology and non-traditional instruments. They cater for a wider range of audiences, from school children to the retired. Despite smaller underground bands now playing in cafes every week, it does bring this varied audience out to these venues to enjoy themselves. Major concerts will now feature better organisation, better venues and stage/lighting effects and a better quality of overall entertainment and audience experience.

    That’s what competition brings to the table. The quality may not be there right now – but its early days yet. As the industry develops, so too does the will of those alternative enough to try new things.. and when they bring something new, they quickly rise to fame with their popularity. I think fostering musical innovation is imperative for the industry to survive well into the future.

  5. Laila Hoque Says:

    “Standard” of technology is certainly raised up a lot but the lyrics went down to “dirty level” of recent Bangla songs just like the English songs unfortunately.

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