For our ears only, an exclusive mix for Dialectic by DJ Click (Paris), taking us on a journey following the path of the Roma people, from Delhi to Seville. 555 then brings us back to India, via the Bant Singh Project and Bandish Projekt
|Dialectic Radio 178|
Delhi to Seville" - Click's set for Dialectic covers the same ground as his recent release "Click Here," 17 tracks markers on a voyage straight into the heart of the gypsy world, tracing the path and patrimony of the Roma people, from India travelling west to Spain. You can get your hands on Click Here from his label 'No Fridge.' Also - psst!: If you're in Melbourne town in November, Click will be here for the Australasian World Music Expo... he's playing on 20 November at the Toff in Town with Barons of Tang, Mikelangelo and the Tin Star with St Clare, Jake & the Cowboys - a night of gypsy tango, slamming surf / western and swaggering roots. See you there!
In the second half of the show 555 swings us back to the sub-continent via Bandish Project, from Mumbai, a multi instrumentalist making idm, with "the right amount of classical, the right content of frenzy.." Brendan also features the Bant Singh Project and I loved that he brought these tracks to the mix. This is Bombay-based American DJ Chris McGuinness and reggae, hip hop artist / performance poet Delhi Sultanate (aka Taru Dalmia, also of BASSFoundation) working with Indian activist poet Bant Singh. Bant Singh is a revered lower-caste activist from the Punjab, fighting for laborer's rights in his homeland, a leading figure in the Mazdoor Mukti Morcha (Laborer’s Liberation Movement). As a Dalit (an "untouchable") Singh has suffered horribly at the hands of the caste system in India, his daughter raped, and himself beaten so savagely (and then treated so poorly in hospital) that he lost three limbs. His voice however is stronger than ever, and he continues to be an inspirational poet and singer. He is the embodiment of the power of poets to inspire people to action that I was speaking of a week ago.
Chris McGuinness and Taru Dalmia have worked with Bant Singh to create a series of tracks covering dancehall and dub ground. The tracks feature Bant's poetry alongside Taru's. The project culminates in an album as well as remixes - all free to download but you can donate money towards the distribution of the music in rural Punjab (the aim being to distribute the music not only out to urban, western cultures but also across rural India) There is also a film which is well worth 12 minutes of time:
I'd like to speak with Taru Dalmia some time, he's an interesting guy who not only cultivates the forms of reggae dancehall and hip hop in India but also performs in the poetry arena and is a scholar (hence his alias, Delhi Sultanate). He crosses cultural and class divides in India, coming from a more 'privileged' background but also understanding poverty from a western perspective. I think that makes for an interesting approach to poetry especially in a culture where it is defined by its connection to class struggle. MTV Desi did a Q&A with him back in June which is an interesting read: http://mtvdesi.com/2011/06/03/qa-with-activistmc-delhi-sultanate-the-new-rich-kids-are-ignorant-selfish-and-crude/
I used the track "Comrades" from the Word Sound Power album in my "Supermoon Stutter" mix a few months ago (I haven't shared that in this blog yet so here it is): This mix is a little bit chaotic... which is fine!
[playlist ids="4868"] This "Supermoon" mix was inspired in the first place by elderly Punjabi poet, singer Pashaura Singh Dhillon, as well as some recordings of the poems of Shah Hussain which I was given a long time ago, and the recently discovered Bant Singh Project - The track "Comrades" which is an interesting, questioning track (I'll let them explain...)
This song is a tribute to all the grass roots organizers. Comrade Bant Singh names several people from his area who work tirelessly to mobilize people. People who hustle at work by day and organize and unify people by night. All big movements consist of and are started by individual people who work on the ground level, often against all odds and with no immediate reward in sight. In the words of Dead Prez: “together the ants will conquer the elephant.” Each one – teach one Delhi Sultanate’s lyrics on this track are more cynical, he sings of the irony and frustration of singing about revolution while being trapped in the money economy and being a slave to its benefits. How far are we really willing to go? It is not just a question of changing the material reality but also of decolonizing minds. “how many countries dem done invade – how many souls dem done enslave” … the tower of babel collapsed under its own weight when humans in their arrogance wanted to touch the sky.