Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fun'Da'Mental Update (of sorts)

I'm about to give another talk about Fun'Da'Mental, and I'm trying to update myself on Fun'Da'Mental happenings. So here are a few tidbits.

First, a video clip of Nawazish Ali Khan, who has performed and recorded with Fun'Da'Mental for a number of years. (If you buy the All Is War bonus CD, you will find a number of essential Fun'Da'Mental vids as well as a documentary about Fun'Da'Mental. The documentary has some interview footage with Nawazish and also some concert footage featuring Nawazish. His most notable recording with Fun'Da'Mental is his vocal track on "Ja Sha Taan," from Erotic Terrorism.) The clip here features Nawazish at a Fun'Da'Mental concert, singing and playing harmonium without backing. I believe he is singing the praises of Ali ("Mullah Ali"), the 4th Caliph, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, who the Shi'a regard as the rightful successor to the Prophet.

Nawazish continues his lesson here.

The second item is from a report on Fun'Da'Mental's trip to Prague, where they performed in December 2007, from the Prague Post. We learn that the band has really suffered due to the uproar over their album All Is War: The Benefits of G-had.

Sightings of All is War are incredibly rare — Nawaz says there’s an “unspoken ban” on the album. But, worse than that, the band’s workload has sunk dramatically, with promoters pulling out all over the place.

“It’s cost us dearly in terms of work,” Nawaz admits. “Before the album, we were doing about 70 to 80 gigs a year. Prague is only our fifth this year. Why was it that, during the punk era, bands would be quite controversial and all the promoters would say, ‘Yeah, come on, it’s your right’? I expected something similar to come back from the promoters and the music industry [for us], but there’s been nothing.”

“Everybody has been frightened off,” added the band’s beats master, Dave Watts. “It’s like Fun-Da-Mental were the terrorists. We’re not killing people; we’re talking about the state killing people. And we’re talking about resistance, and trying to understand what gets into the heads of people that are prepared to cross the line and give up everything in the defense of their family and their land.”

Finally, and on a happier note, more Fun'Da'Mental music is now available. Go to the official Fun'Da'Mental website, and check out the "News" item dated November 18, 2007. There you can download three new Fun'Da'Mental tracks. They are somewhat different from previous Fun'Da'Mental releases. I've not listened closely enough yet to offer an opinion. the most interesting, I think, is "Darfur and Disneyland," written and sung by Lloyd Sparkes.

Another track is available for listening, though not for downloading, at Fun'Da'Mental's myspace page. It's a really wonderful recording of a live collaboration between Fun'Da'Mental and Bakshi Javed Salamat Qawwal, from 1998. Javed Salamat was a pupil of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Check out this youtube clip of Javed performing:


Unknown said...

I've been working with Aki on translations of their lyrics if you'd like. Sorry, but on the road, so I can't send a private message.

Ted Swedenburg said...

Absolutely brilliant--I'd love to see whatever you've got! Thanks!