Sunday, April 26, 2009


I know next-to-bugger-all about Chutney, to be honest. For the uninitiated, Chutney is a Carribean music-form from Trinidad that's a weird hybrid of, erm, Soca, Indian film songs ("Filmi") and, probably, a bunch of other influences that I'm not aware of. Its musical etiology is kinda twisted: it involves a fusion of Indian and West Indian musics/traditions, and it's also inextricably tied up w/ the notion of Carnival. Sundar Popo's 1970 hit "Nana and Nani" fused traditional instruments such as the dholak and dhantal w/ electric gtr and cheesy synths, creating a template for the modern Chutney sound and earning him the title "The King of Chutney". (Well, who wouldn't want to be The King of Chutney!?) These days, popular Chutney crews incl. Dil-E-Nadan, Melobugz, Karma, Gayatones and JMC 3Veni.

The two biggest tunes of recent months/current season are apparently "Jep Sting Naina" and "Rum and Roti". "Jep Sting Naina", like many Chutneys is a localised retwist of a Bollywood song, but this one has become a mainstream pop-radio hit and is threatening to go international. The folks responsible - Hunter, Drupatee, Andy Singh, Big Rich and Hitman - are an all-star team-up of some of Chutney's biggest solo artists.

Anyway, I really like the dense-sounding processed drums, the surreal vocal interjections and the weird audio-effect that sounds like an angry wasp puppet. Plus the fact that it's as catchy as fuck.

Play it loud.


A rather lovely piece of writing on the Interactions site by Bruce Sterling on the relationship between SF writing and design.

He covers some v. interesting ground here, throwing all sorts of ideas to the wind; I was particularly interested in the idea of an archaic variant Japanese script designed to only be read by women.

And as someone who also writes code as well as fiction, I was particularly smitten by this: "The line commands in software are text as an expression of will."

It's an idea that's constantly nagged at my mind over the years - that I also write stuff in languages that make things happen in the physical/electromechanical realm. The idea that there are sequences of 'words' that are able to move things around (data, electrons, bit/bytes, whatever) is a very wonderous thing to me - a form of magic in itself.