Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music | Chicago Reader

Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music

Vivek Bald's 1999 videodocumentary profiles young Anglo-Asians who are making waves in the London rock scene and examines the socioeconomic forces behind the phenomenon. Most of those interviewed (including Tjinder Singh of Cornershop and members of Asian Dub Foundation) have parents who emigrated to England in the 60s dreaming of a better life but ended up with menial jobs, and the musicians are variously bemused or angry in recalling the racism they encountered growing up. Drummer Talvin Singh gives a particularly insightful explanation of how traditional Indian music and the sounds of Caribbean Indians influenced the Asian music scene. The video being screened is a work-in-progress. Two shorts round out the program. Byron Shah (who's made videos for Beck and Smashing Pumpkins) directed The Mischievous Ravi, a sweet, beguiling film about a teenager who works in his father's convenience store but longs to escape from the dull immigrant ghetto. Amitav Kaul's music video USTRA is a montage of time-lapse urban landscapes and nifty computer graphics, set to music by Karsh Kale.

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