August 31, 2004

Chutney Music From Trinidad & Guyana

Even if you only have a passing interesting in world music then you're probably readily familiar with Northern Caribbean musical styles like reggae, ska, mambo and rumba... But what about the many hybrids from the south? From places like Trindad and Tobago, and Guyana? If you thought it was all just steel drumming, then get ready for one of the most insane cross-cultural styles ever - chutney music...
When slavery was outlawed in the Caribbean, the British planation owners became increasingly reliant on indentured Indian workers. Those workers who came and settled in their new masters' domains brought their music with them and, over time, it became fused with styles developed by African slaves. The result was chutney... which, in recent times, has evolved to become a Hi-NRG amalgam of Bollywood, calypso and dancehall reggae (with elements of US R&B thrown in for good measure).
It has to be heard to be believed, and one of its most prominent exponents is the "Voice of Guyana", Terry Gajraj, who has a site which includes such chutney-esque numbers as Roll Yuh Belly and Yo Mista DJ. (via Oddio Overplay)

Posted by Warren at August 31, 2004 07:13 PM | World