Just a little while ago, I was wondering what had happened to Beats Without Borders. Well, as it turns out, they’ve been up to quite a lot…
Such as holding a Diwali party a couple of weeks ago (as part of a big Diwali festival in Vancouver) featuring none other than Cheb i Sabbah (with dancer Namchi Bazar this time). So, here’s the video clip:
Well, the video clip isn’t so good, but I like the sound of it.
More Suzana Ansar for you… This apparently is a Nazrul song. “Nazrul” refers to the work of the revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, who is also known as the national poet of Bangladesh.
Wikipedia has some very interesting info about Kazi Nazrul Islam:
Kazi Nazrul Islam (Bengali: কাজী নজরুল ইসলাম) (25 May 1899-29 August 1976) was a Bengali poet, musician, revolutionary, and philosopher who pioneered poetic works espousing intense spiritual rebellion against orthodoxy and oppression. His poetry and nationalist activism earned him the popular title of Bidrohi Kobi (Rebel Poet)…
Nazrul’s writings explore themes such as love, freedom, and revolution; he opposed all bigotry, including religious and gender…
While explicitly avowing his affinity to Islam, and calling for upholding Islam for its universalistic essence, values and spirit, he believed that medieval Islamic practices and religious conservatism were hurting Indian Muslims as well as the Muslim world, and keeping them backward, intensifying social and sectarian challenges…
Nazrul is hailed for his sincere conviction in the liberation of women. His poems explored the independence of a woman’s mind and the ability to perform diverse roles in society.
Bangla music – that is, Bengali music, rooted in the traditions of Bangladesh and West Bengal. Suzana Ansar was born in London, but she’s promoted the music of her Bengali/Bangla roots with some success. More recently, she’s done some work with the DJ/producer whose work I just posted, State of Bengal.
And by the way, sympathies and solidarity to the communities hit by Cyclone Sidr, especially those hit hardest – always, of course, the poor.
Pull up the people!
I bumped into good old State of Bengal in my Net searches because I had Bangladesh on my mind – but those thoughts are addressed better in the post after this. “State of Bengal” once did refer to a group, but nowadays, it just means this one guy – with a number of people here and there, like Rosina Kazi (the singer in this video) and Suzana Ansar.
The individual named State of Bengal spent most of his life in London, though Wikipedia tells us he was actually born in Pakistan. He picked up the name “State of Bengal” because he was inspired by a trip to Bangladesh, where he made connections with a bunch of musicians, etc. But what he does most, as far as I can tell, is a very UK-based blend of electronica and hip-hop.
I posted this video because it’s an anti-war video, and a moving one at that. The song’s interesting too – but, then, most of his are.
At MASALA. Their bhangra-reggaeton-dancehall-hip-hop mix is particularly good in places, and it’s fairly unique among the downloadable mixes that I’ve found lately. It’s also nice and noisy, good for playing through headphones on the subway. (Well, maybe not if you’re especially concerned about preserving your hearing, but on the other hand, if your aim is to drown out the train…)
Just a brief word on two sites that I stumbled on for those who feel like putting together some danceable sounds…
First, you can check out Tutorial: Create A Dubstep-Style Bassline.
Then, maybe you’d like to try your hands at the Virtual Tabla (I really like that one).
Actually, I like this video much more than the last one I posted. It’s Bally Sagoo live.