01 March 2006

Don't Download This MP3...

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan had one of the most stunning and distinctive voices in the history of recorded music. We're posting a song of his today to whet your appetite, but that's not our main objective.

SoundRoots spends untold hours listening to music from around our planet and culling the best, most interesting, and most unusual sounds for your ears and information for your mind. Yet, we feel the stirrings of dissatisfaction. Why? Because despite the thousands of visitors and the clear eagerness for the music and information, there's a certain silence.

SoundRoots is neither a lecture nor a sugar daddy. It's a place for discovery and conversation, for sharing stories of the unity of humankind, objections to stereotypes and shallow thinking, and, yes, amazing music and singing from all over the world.

Without the water of your comments and the sunshine of your thoughts, SoundRoots will wither and die.

So don't download this mp3...at least not without leaving even your brief (anonymous, if you're shy) thoughts on this song or Nusrat or qawwali, or a cultural observation, or a question about some artist or some flavor of world music.

[mp3] Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: "Mustt Mustt"
more music from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

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[yet more]: The flood of interest in this track and Nusrat compells me to add a little more info. "Mustt Mustt" is one of Nusrat's most famous songs, and so was a key candidate for a big of remixing. That's what it got on the posted track, a Massive Attack remix from the album Mustt Mustt (Real World Records, 1990).

In the making of 'Mustt Mustt', Nusrat embarked upon an exploration of various Western styles and rhythms, to which he brought his own Asian approach. The Pakistani musicians from Nusrat's Party are accompanied by guitarist Robert Ahwai (West Indies), bassist Darryl Johnson (USA) and percussionist James Pinker (New Zealand). Produced by Michael Brook, who also plays guitar, the album is a unique meeting of international talent.

Real World, by the way, has a nice site about Nusrat's legacy, including lyrics and audio (the site has nearly hidden navigation: click on the leaves). More info on the album, including album notes, available here.

15 comments:

Matthias said...

I've known Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's music for many years now and yes, he's one of the great voices in music. Haven't listened to "Mustt Mustt" for a long time, though. Thanks for reminding me of this!
As a fellow blogger, I know how hard it is sometimes to get feedback from readers, so let me just tell you that I really like your weblog; keep up the great work!

DouglasLong said...

I am just finding SoundRoots today and what a nice way to do it :)
I enjoy all artists that can do just what you are asking your readers to do: share, sample, respond, communicate. NFAK is one of the world's best examples of this. What other artists can you think of that participate with their colleagues and listeners in the same way?

Chris said...

I saw Nusrat in Ottawa in 1993 at the National Museum. He played on a stage in front of the facade of a Haida longhouse in a valuted atrium. PLayed three tunes in two hours, and was covered in money at the end of it.

It was amazing, and I was luck to have seen him.

Keep the faith. We may not comment much (alot of us read you in our newsreaders) but this blog is an important daily check for me.

KayT said...

I went to the Ashes and Snow exhibition at Santa Monica recently and highly recommend the beautiful photography and videos of nature worldwide by Gregory Colbert. Set in the dim cathedralesque Nomadic Museum, the stunning visuals were enhanced by the voices of Nusrat, Lisa Gerrard, and the duduk of Djivan Gasparian. Once of the most peaceful mornings I've spent. Visit ashesandsnow.org to get a taste.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog. I have been enjoying it. We need to keep stretching the envelope of our ears.

Anonymous said...

New to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's music but this song is awesome.

pfc said...

I have always loved this song. When was it first recorded?
Your blog is one of a handful I have bookmarked recently. it's a credit to you that I've always found something interesting to listen to every time I browse. Thanks guys - keep up the good work!

Matt H said...

Well, I read the RSS feed for this site, which I think is really great. I don't download everything here.

More into West African music than "world music" in general, whatever the heck that means. Especially a lot of the more modern, fusion, electronic stuff just doesn't do anything for me. Still, have discovered some really great music via your blog, so thanks.

Have been a N.F.A. Khan appreciator for years. Don't listen to a ton of S. Asian music, although lately I've been listening to Kiran Aluwahlia's album a LOT. Not sure if she's been featured on the site yet.

Rurikid said...

I had the priviledge of attending Qawalli recitals in Pakistan in 1972, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was among the performers. This is Sufi ecstatic music, and the ecstasy (not the drug, silly!) is contagious in such conditions.

Richard said...

Sorry you're not getting the number of comments you'd like. Here's my contribution:

I saw Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan perform several times: once at Royce Hall at UCLA and once at the only WOMAD festival held in the Los Angeles area (alas there are no longer any WOMADs held in the U.S.). His performances were as mesmerizing live as they are on recording.

I also saw a Fateh-less qawwali performance at the Seattle WOMAD which I believe included some of his relatives. The closing jam which intermingled all the festival musicians was dominated by qawwali and, I swear, it felt like we were being transported to nirvana or whatever heavenly place followers of qawwali go to.

Keep up the good work here.

Anonymous said...

Nice work on the blog. I'm a confirmed electronic music nut, but my favourite stuff is the kind which blends the best of different genres. That way you get two talents instead of one! Keep up the good work...

Sita-pati das said...

Devotional Songs was the first kirtan album that I ever heard, and I was overwhelmed by the song Allah Hoo with the accompanying clapping of the party. It was so organic and real, and powerful.

Anonymous said...

I've listened to NFAK for more than 20 years now. I blame him for my becoming such a picky listener - I compare everyone with NFAK, and I find them wanting. I search to find passion such as his, a voice which has that certain grittiness mixed with this oh so beautiful smoothness such as his. I search for a singer who can enunciate the beautiful urdu words just so, who can send me into a trance...and I am still searching. I look for a singer who sings of his God and shows me mine. I resent him for dying so young, I resent him for leaving me ensnared in his music forever. 20 years, and I still get mesmerised by his music...is this an addiction I wonder? Shall I ever recover?

Anonymous said...

I discovered this blog today, looking for more info about Ali Farka Toure. I don't know much about music blogs, but I believe I will discover unexpected and I hope fascinating new kinds of music here.
Thank you for sharing what you like, and expanding our musical universes !

Glyn Howell said...

Does anyone know who sings the haunting theme to the Rolex Institute 'Colbert's Ashes and snow' art exhibition. The artist sounds middle eastern/asian/african and quite similar to Nina Simone. Endless calls to music shops and searching on the internet have failed to produce anything except a long list of potential artists. If you can help could you perhaps email me at pbhowell@orcon.net.nz as I'm not familiar with using blogs. Many thanks in anticipation of some kind soul assisting.
Glyn Howell