November 23, 2009 - Posted by dj umb
Dubstep Monday @ Generation Bass
I posted this mix last week and I also claimed that it contained perhaps the first ever QAWWALI DUBSTEP track by the SUFI DUBSTARS!
It’s the final track on this mix:
I wasn’t 100% sure when I made this claim. I made it without having done any extensive research and just on the basis of my own personal knowledge.
I’ve been listening to dubstep for the past few years and more recently I’ve been getting into more aggressive forms of dubstep and exploring the global or transnational dubstep scene as you can tell from my recent mixes and posts on Dubstep Mondays on this blog .
I’ve never come across any Qawwali Dubstep and the track Sufi Dubstars have done is the first, IMHO.
I’ve come across Qawwali Dub, there’s loads of that about, Gaudi etc etc. I’ve also come across Dubstep Ghazals which is the sort of thing Bandish Projekt incorporate into their repertoire. But I’ve never come across any Qawwali Dubstep!
Anyhow, once I’d posted that and made the claim too, a few people responded saying, the Sufi Dubstars track is not the first Qawwali Dubstep, it’s been done before and I was pointed into the direction of 2 examples.
The first person to comment was our good mate LOWDJO who said this:
pinch made a great qawwali-dubstep track some years ago, great interpretation.. has been in my collection ever since!
LISTEN TO THE TRACK:
The second person to comment was a guy called GHANDI..lol…who said this:
Great showcase for the new album, I need this cd!
I beg to differ, but I think the first qawwali dubstep track was ‘Kaise Guzar Rahi Hai’ by The Dub Factory. From 1998! It’s in this mix:
So I thought ok..maybe I’ve got it wrong and I accepted the feedback on face value and left it at that.
But then out of curiosity, I listened to the 2 examples sent to me.
Ghandi’s example is where I have left the comment on his mixtape. So I listened and thought man, that ain’t dubstep. It’s more like dub/dub reggae and is definitely not dubstep. Yes it contains Qawwali vocals and is dubbed out but def not dubstep!
So I then listened to Lowdjo’s track by DJ Pinch. It’s called Qawwali and def has a dubstep vibe and a hint of a Harmonium sample but it ain’t Qawwali!
Qawwali’s should (if not as a MUST) contain a lead vocal.
The word Qawwali means…
a musician or singer who sings the hymns or praises of God and dictums of the prophets, saints and other holy personages in Arabic, Persian, Urdu and even Hindustani composed by reputed Sufi saints and poets.
here’s another defintion:
Qawwali is the traditional form of Islamic song found in India and Pakistan. The word qawwali is derived from the Arabic word Qaol which means “axiom” or “dictum”. A Qawwal is one who sings qawwali, or the dictums of the prophets and praises of God. The Qawwali is closely linked to the spiritual and artistic life of northern India and Pakistan.
So I’m afraid that the DJ Pinch track is just Qawwali in name and not in feel and plus it contains no vocal at all and hence cannot be Qawwali Dubstep.
DOES IT ALL MATTER..no, not really. I mean I don’t really care that much as to who is the first to do it BUT I just don’t know anybody else that has done it before.
I ain’t no expert on qawwali music or an ethnomusicologist or a musical historian and as I have said the research I have done is very limited. So if anybody does have any other examples of Qawwali Dubstep please be sure to let me know.