Rikki Jai – The Remedy / Ravi B – Start Over

Each week on our Super Soca Show we include a ‘Chutney Tune Of The Week’. Of course, even if you’re unaware of the music, it should be obvious that I’m not talking about the* fruity food stuff, but the Soca derivative which further accentuates the music’s East Indian influences. I’ve not posted much on here before, but there’s two tunes currently that I feel need to be shared.

I should perhaps first explain that there is a popular trend in Trinidad & Tobago of taking classic Bollywood tracks or melodies and revamping them Chutney Soca style. In fact just before the island’s 2017 Carnival, there was something of a backlash against the usage of such tunes in the Chutney Soca Monarch competition, but the practice remains popular. These are two such tracks, however as is often the case with both artists, they’ve taken the melodies and changed the original Hindi lyrics into catchy drinking anthems.

First up is Rikki Jai, whose big hits include Barman (adapted from Dil Mera Ek Aas Ka Panchhi) where the song is built around Rikki asking the barman for some Guiness and Puncheon (rum) to help him get ready for a long night of loving (he also asks for some supligen energy drink and ginseng), and Alone (adapted from Deewana Hua Badal) where he opts for feteing alone with a bottle of rum over carnival, as his partner has left him. In this latest offering, he adapts the melody from the classic Jaoon Kahan Bata Aye Dil whilst facing his various relationship problems with a bottle of rum (the remedy). I’m not sure he’s the best role model in this respect, but he does know how to make a highly addictive track.

Be careful with this one, I didn’t pay it much attention at first, and then I couldn’t get “So bring the Johnnie Walker” out of my head, now I can’t stop playing it.

Ravi B’s alcohol infused Bollywood remakes include lamenting the raise in rum prices for Budget (adapted from Mohan Ki Muraliya Baje) and Ah Drinka (adapted from O Saathi Re Tere Bina), which follows similar lines to The Remedy, with rum definitely taking precedent over his partner. In Start Over, his partner’s left him and it’s whiskey this time which is set to see him through the break up. Although rum is by far the favourite tipple of most singers, Johnnie Walker does find it’s way into a few Chutney songs, possibly as it’s one of India’s most popular spirits.

The melody for this one is actually from a fairly recent Bollywood hit, Tere Sang Yaara, a song from Rustom. I have to admit, although the original love song is a more popular track, I’m a much bigger fan of this version!

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Veeblefetzer – Katabum

There’s a number of Italian bands who regularly perform at Boomtown and of which I’m very fond. Veeblefetzer (formerly Veeblefetzer & The Manigolds) are most definitely one of them. As with front man Andrea Cota’s other bands – Kaligola Disco Bazaar and Adriano Bono & The Reggae Circus – the music leans towards Balkan at times, there’s a hint of Gogol Bordello’s ‘Gypsy Punk’ sound, and thanks to the big old brass Sousaphone kicking out the bass notes, they very much lift you up from the middle and swing you around a little (never too much). There’s also a little bit of Tom Waits’ more carnivalesque outings in there some place I’d say, either way their music never fails to put a smile on my face and hopefully that skill is transferable to you guys.

This latest single is from the film ‘La profezia dell’armadillo’ (or The Armadillo Prophecy), based on an Italian Comic book. I’m yet to see the film but if Veebletfetzer are doing the soundtrack then it certainly bodes well! Here’s a trailer for the film, though only in Italian I’m afraid… Daje!

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Telefunksoul & Felipe Pomar feat. Mr. Armeng & Cecilia Stalin – Yê

Felipe Pomar and Telefunksoul originally linked up on a remix of BaianaSystem’s track Dia da Caça for last year’s Outras Cidades album. They decided to collaborate on a whole EP which was released this week on Rio based label Kafundó Records. Reinterpreting Bahian music through bass music, the whole EP is definitely worth a listen but this tribute to the water orisha Yemanjá is definitely my favourite track. It features London based Swedish singer Cecilia Stalin and rapper Mr Armeng from the Bahia capital Salvador.

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Linn da Quebrada – Coytada

Brazil’s favela born rap music, funk carioca (and it’s brattier offspring funk ostentação) has always been hyper sexual in it’s content, and in that respect this new single/video from Linn da Quebrada is no different (I don’t understand the lyrics but pictures speak a thousand words as they say). However the scene is also hyper masculine for the most part, largely misogynistic and sometimes homophobic, so as a trans artist Linn is certainly a game changer. Heavy on the House side, this is probably the most club friendly track from last year’s Pajubá album, and if you prefer things a little moodier then the Trap influenced JLX remix is also excellent.

I’m yet to see the Bixa Travesty documentary about Linn which came out earlier in the year, but it’s probably a great place to start if you wanted to find out more about her.

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Eminem ft. Joyner Lucas – Lucky You

I’ll be honest, it came as a total shock this week that Eminem has 10 albums releases (plus some compilations I think). I literally couldn’t name one after the Marshall Mathers LP, though it could be argued that says more about me than Eminem.

The point is, I would hear occasional tracks but nothing grabbed me. This is the first one to really make me stop and listen again. Part of that is Joyner Lucas, fast making a name for himself as one of the most exciting MCs in the game. When I first heard this tune, Eminem’s verse sounded forced, outdated and uncomfortable in comparison, I think now that I was judging way too harshly. There’s no denying that both emcees have put in the work and bring excessive amounts of skill and energy to the track. I’m glad it was seen fit to release as a single, it’s a much bigger tune than I would normally post here but just in case you’ve been similarly switched off to what Eminem’s been up to, I figured I should share.

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My mate Jay (aka Beans On Toast) has asked me to play this brilliant event in London this coming Saturday. After years of packing out stages for us at Boomtown, the roles are reversed and I have to try and do the same for him.

It’s made easier by the fact entry is free and the rest of the line up is expertly curated. Everyone on there is not just incredibly talented, they’re also a bloody nice bunch to want to spend the day with.

The event is called Common Ground and it’s at Flat Iron Square. The nearest tube station is London Bridge and it runs from Midday to Midnight. I’ll be providing the closing set from 10pm.

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Some regular readers of the blog may have noticed that I’ve still come nowhere near to summarising this year’s Boomtown. For those who don’t know, that’s the festival I spend all year working on the music for, programming 12 of the stages and overseeing many more. The festival is far more than just the music however, there’s so much that is going on. From Whistler’s Green up at the top, where the most current names in jazz at the Windmill stage, or the intimate soul reviving music at Floating Lotus, sit amongst dozens of craft workshops; inspiring talks, films and discussions; farmer’s markets; healing tents; and many, many kids activities. To Paradise Heights, with it’s circus shows, casino and rather twisted theatrical faux luxury experiences, interspersed with ‘Tropical’, Soul, Funk or Swing beats and bands. In fact anyone who gets the impression that Boomtown is just a ‘rave’ festival is way off the mark. I was certainly surprised to see one of our more positive reviews claim we were ‘mostly Techno’ and ‘not live band orientated’ given the fact that our biggest stage had bands such as Gorillaz. Morcheeba and Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals on there, whilst the Town Centre claimed Limp Bizkit, Enter Shikari, Sleaford Mods, Soul II Soul and many, many more. That’s to say nothing of all the Metal, Punk and Ska bands in Diss-Order Alley (Soulfly, Dead Kennedys, Idles, Capdown, Earth Crisis – you get the general idea); or Copper County with it’s Folk, Americana, African, Syrian, Senegalese, Sudanese, Malian and Caribbean bands; Oldtown with all of the Balkan Fusion or Folk Punk bands; the excess amount of Reggae bands or the live Hip-hop all over. I mean let’s face it, although Pagoda Plaza was packed all weekend for the House and Techno and the Psychedelic Forest managed to maintain a whole Sunday with the likes of Charlotte De Witte, Enrico Sanguiliano, Extrawelt – it’s hardly our primary output, even for the DJs.

Anyway, I feel like I’m ranting off track here. My main point is it’s a tricky festival to understand if you’ve not been – and sometimes even if you have. I’m yet to be able to condense my own experiences into words, but this video at least goes some way into capturing a little of the magic. Enjoy, and do please share it with those you’d like to see join in next year.

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