Music is not merely a five-letter word. It is something so powerful that can express emotions which can’t be expressed even by a thousand words. Music comes only second to silence when it comes to expressing the inexpressible. We live in a world that is diverse in everything, right from the attire to the languages across the globe, there is diversity everywhere. So, the diversity in music comes as no great surprise.
This week, we shall explore the obscure and mind-boggling music styles from around the world.
- Baithak Gaana:
Baithak Gaana is a form of music that originated in Suriname by the Indian community. ‘Baithak’, which means a social gathering, is a mix of Bhojpuri folk songs with the influence of the Caribbean style of music. It also has its roots in the North Indian style of music. The contract labours from India brought this style of music to the Caribbean, South American, African, and Oceanian countries. Despite starting small, today Baithak Gaana has its presence in many other countries as well.
- Luk Thung:
‘Luk Thung’ or ‘Phleng Luk Thung’ which means ‘child of the field song’, emerged after World War II in the central region of Thailand. Popular in the northeastern region of Thailand, Luk Thung songs consist of poetic lyrics that speak about the cultural traits, rural lifestyles, and social patterns of Thailand. The songs of this genre are sung with a distinctive country accent and typical use of vibrato. Following its quirky obscure style, it is not widely known but is rejoiced merrily by the known.
With its origin in the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, Zouk was popularised by the French Antillean band Kassav’ in the 1980s. Zouk was developed as an attempt to eradicate the Haitian music influence from the French Islands. Zouk songs were rapid in tempo and the Kassav’ used the then newly developed MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) to popularize this style of music. But soon the other Caribbean music bands started using the MIDI technology and slowly people got used to it. Zouk lost its ground due to the presence of Haitian styles of music, but still was one of the most obscure yet loved styles of its time.
Fado has its roots in Lisbon, Portugal and can be traced back to the 1820s or probably long before that. Fado songs can be written simply on anything but should follow a traditional pattern. The songs are popularly characterized by lyrics and tunes of mourning like about the life of the poor. In 2011, Fado was added to the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The essence of Fado lies within its deranged style that doesn’t amuse many.
A subgenre of drum and brass, Neurofunk emerged between 1997 and 1998 in London as a step of progression to Techstep which was another subgenre of drum and brass. It replaces breakbeats with backbeats and industrial timbres with funk harmonies, juxtaposing hard funk with influences ranging from techno, house, and jazz. The first sounds of Neurofunk’s evolution can be heard on Ed Rush and Optical’s Funktion single for V Recordings in 1997 and on their first album Wormhole for Virus Recordings in 1998. Neurofunk gained popularity due to its obscurity in the genre.
These were some of the many, obscure music styles on the planet, as music is a pure flow of creativity, and creativity can neither be tamed and nor can it be bounded. We will surely see you in the next week with another set of things that we find to be cryptic, and we’ll make sure that your head gets a new perspective towards the cultures.