The Akaliko Company is a collaborative entity of multiple creative units which are autonomous units as projects and legal entity. It is based on the long term cross media collaborative aspect that was developed during the early years of Dhaka Electronica Scene that has morphed into a robust resource sharing mechanism allowing all to do more.
Akaliko was an initiative born out of Dhaka’s Electronica Scene (DES). The group first aspired to connect Dhaka’s diverse community of bedroom electronic music producers, who at that time were working in solitude across the city. Since then, Akaliko has grown into its current identity as an independent record label and beyond with a DIY approach to sourcing new artists and helping other small record labels to grow their own identities. While electronic music is Akaliko’s primary focus, we have been collaborating with ‘non-musicians’, including writers, choreographers/dancers, communication specialists, and architects, to produce music, workshops, music videos, and a variety of sound projects and with the initiation of Akaliko’s Artist Collective those collaborations got more engaging.
DES formed in 2012 as a Facebook group with a handful of bedroom music producers mostly from Dhaka. The DIY community grew in leaps and bounds ever since by encouraging artist interaction and collaborative learning through both online and offline platforms. DES held workshops for producers at different proficiency levels and partnered with various local and international organizations to help grow the practice of electronic music and sound art in Dhaka and Bangladesh through events and various music projects that include compilations, video projects, audio art installations. Our flagship radio show at Colours FM101.6 featuring the best works from the city had a 1.5 year long first season.
The struggle was never ending in terms of outreach and getting the music heard. The limited time slots of FM radio stations was frustrating enough for the Akaliko team to then look on the digital solution of podcasting.
Meanwhile Akaliko Records was the first to surface as a netlabel and pave the way for more such formations and to take the success of DES community to the next level. Over time, it has developed the record label distribution, artist management aspect, music education programs, building grassroots level ecosystem and delving in sound art. In recent times, the Akaliko family has grown to accommodate a much more diverse group of creative thinkers to make creative solutions and sometimes even force it.
Akaliko as an Art Initiative & DIY Culture
While the promotion of electronic music remains at the heart of what Akaliko does, the group actively collaborates with artists and professionals from other mediums, each carefully selected to ensure their output remains unique and experimental. Akāliko Records have run events with performance artists, writers, choreographers/dancers, communication specialists, psychologists, and most recently, sound artists, in an attempt to advance the use of this medium in Dhaka’s thriving art scene.
Samdani Artist Led-Initiative Forum played a key role in the actualization of the artist collective, allowing us to take the aspect of sound art to a whole new domain and opening up the “arts” avenue which otherwise might have taken much longer