– THE MILITARY COUP –
There is a fantastically percussive quality about many of the Indian languages. To the uneducated ear – of which I am the unashamed owner of two – many of their consonants can sound almost like the striking of finger tips against tabla-skin. I was first introduced to this when my drum teacher played me Nitin Sawhney’s The Conference, describing it as ‘a drum battle, made by mouths’.
What I didn’t realise until Sarathy Korwar brought it to my attention this week was how perfectly that heavy-hitting attack would suit the world of hip-hop.
The restless British-Asian jazz pioneer releases his second studio album More Arriving on 26 July and it promises to be a project spiked with contributions from rappers from Mumbai and New Delhi.
Mumbay is the first track to be released from it and MC Mawali’s Hindi/Marathi vocals give it a visceral power that I’ve not heard the likes of before.
Combined with classical Indian, jazz and electronic instrumentation it makes for an awesome canvas upon which to paint the story of one city trapped between two oppressive forces of power and narrative – on one side colonialism (Bombay being the British name for the city) and, on the other, a rising right-wing Hindu nationalism (in 1995 the city was renamed Mumbai after sustained lobbying by Shiv Sena – a right wing Hindu nationalist political party). “Mumbay” is, according to Korwar, his attempt to navigate a third path that does not subscribe to either ideology.
In a slight break from tradition, I’ve included, above, a promo video for the album as a whole as, frankly, I’ve not been as excited for a forthecoming release off the back of such a piece of marketing for… well… ever. But, as always, you can check out the full track on the Spotify links below (subscribe too while you’re there!) or, if you don’t have Spotify, you can always Google it yourself, you lazy bugger.
MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX
P.S. You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –