Category Archives: World Music

The NDIM Guide to Dub

Dub music is generally considered a subgenre of reggae, and that is where its roots lie, but it has gone through several periods and a variety of innovative artists so that it no longer seems beholden to any genre. Indeed it has influenced nearly everything it has come into contact with. Musical genres as varied as punk rock, hip hop, trip hop, techno, house, and most subsequent permutations of dance or electronic music have all been imprinted heavily with the heavy sounds and trippy legacy of dub music.

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Susheela Raman: Ghost Gamelan

Susheela Raman doesn’t think much of borders. Born in London to South Indian parents but raised in Australia, her musical career has been all about bringing together people, cultures, ideas, and sounds to create her own musical voice. She’s worked with musicians from South and South East Asia, Africa, Greece, Turkey, and North Africa on previous releases such as Music For Crocodiles and Vel. So it doesn’t seem at all odd that for her latest album, Ghost Gamelan, she has worked with gamelan musicians from Java.

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Susheela Raman: Music For Crocodiles

Susheela Raman is one in a line of Indian performers who have sought to bring the traditional aspects of the music of their heritage into a satisfying mix with popular Western musical forms in a way that does not subjugate the exotic elements, making them into mere ornaments that only pay lip service to age old musical traditions. On Music for Crocodiles, her third album, Raman pushes a bit further out from her comfort zone, performing the majority of the songs in English.

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Sons of Kemet: Your Queen Is a Reptile

by Marshall Bowden

In the acknowledgments of his book Cut ‘N Mix: Culture and Identity in Carribean Music, Dick Hebdige notes that

“In his book There Ain’t No Black In The Union Jack, Paul Gilroy has suggested that music functions within the culture of the black diaspora as an alternative public sphere. Sometimes a reggae toast or soul rap might consist of little more than a list of names or titles. Naming can be in and of itself an act of invocation, conferring power and/or grace upon the namer: the names can carry power in themselves. The titles bestowed on Halile Selassie in a Rastafarian chant or a reggae toast or on James Brown or Aretha Franklin in a soul or MC rap testify to this power. More importantly in this context, the namer pays tribute in the ‘name check’ to the community from winch (s)he has sprung and without which (s)he would be unable to survive.”

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