We recently acquired a collection from Pakistan - not a personal collection, curated over time, but the contents of a shop. Shops are often more interesting than personal collections in as much you are getting a direct snapshot of whatever was popular in another context and culture. Whilst people were buying David Bowie and Abba singles in the UK, in Pakistan it might have been 45s of the latest Nahid Akhtar hit or M.Ashraf composition.
Part of the raison d’etre of Paradise Bangkok has always been to challenge the notion that the western hemisphere automatically sets the gold standard for popular music. Popular is a subjective term, as it naturally depends where you live. That which can seem 'exotic' to outsiders is just the popular style of the day to others. Whatever is on the radio, TV, your friends are talking about, that is normality. There is not an objective bar to which everything else can be measured.
So a rummage through 1000+ EPs and LPs revealed sought after classical music, religious recitals, scuffed US pop 7”s, and UAE record sleeves, as well as the expected film and folk songs. We’ve showcased a few highlights here, all of which are available via the UK store. Click on any of the images to go the sales page.
As well as the tracks from the main label EMI Pakistan, there are obscure private pressings from Lahore and Islamabad, none of which we’ve ever come across before. This is a rare snapshot of a time and place in the musical history of Pakistan - enjoy the sounds and spread the word.
Check all the stock here
Hunting for records is not fashionable. It is not even sensible. Records are fragile, cumbersome, frustrating and often downright unreliable. So why do it? Everything is available online, for the most part, right? Why suffer the inconvenience of shelves of discs when you can have it all on a thumb drive?
Aside from aesthetic arguments surrounding audio fidelity, appreciating larger artwork and the joys of owning originals as opposed to digital facsimiles there are historical quirks and appreciations that are simply not available via the simple click of a button.