Avid record digger Harry Septiandri aka Munir aka Midnight Runners has compiled and published an archival visual book of logos from record labels stemming from the sub-continent.
Turning back the clock to the 1950s, ‘India Subcontinent Records Label Logo’ depicts designs by labels from India whose global sound has reached audiences far and wide. The limited edition anthology depicts the history of how Indian music’s popularity around the world can be traced back to cultural and technological factors.
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Septiandri writes in the accompanying introduction to the book, “From the colonial influence of British rule in India to the emergence of ethnomusicology as a field of study, Indian classical music found its way into the hearts of Western audiences through a combination of cultural exchange and immigration.”
He continues to discuss, through references that include Nettl, B’s ‘The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-One Issues and Concepts’, how ethnomusicology “fostered cultural exchange and exposed audiences to the rich musical traditions of India. In addition, the advent of ethnomusicology as a field of study in the late 19th and early 20th centuries encouraged the documentation and study of non-Western music, including Indian classical music.”
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A cultural exchange between non-Western musicians and those from the West ensued through the latter half of the 20th century only continued to flourish, and particularly through the popularisation of the collaborative movement from artists like Ravi Shankar and George Harrison.
Making this print extra special for collectors, the raw and restored logos have been printed on premium, deep red, Spectra Saffron 90 gsm and the grey-scale cover on Fedrigoni Sirio Pearl Platinum 200 gsm paper.
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‘India Subcontinent Records Label Logo’ is available through Peace Freedom, an online media and publishing arm dedicated to music and visual archival research, set up by Septiandri in 2012. Order your limited edition copy here.
Arun Ramanathan is Mixmag Asia’s Director. Follow him on Instagram.