Desert land music: Kutch

urlMurra Lala Falfal

In early 2000, almost at the beginning of the new millennium, I was living in a Central Asian Republic called Tajikistan. A small, Persian speaking, culturally Muslim ex Soviet Republic, Tajikistan is about the best candidate for the so-called ‘roof of the world’ title. Several major mountain ranges—Pamir, Tian Shan and Alay—accordion together to form the borders of the country which sits right at the top of the Indian subcontinent.

Early morning on 26 January, a major tremor hit us in the capital. The buildings in Dushanbe frequently shook and swayed as there are generally 700 earthquakes a year rumbling around that part of the world. But this one was really strong. We hit the TVs (internet was still very primitive in Taj at that point) to find out what was going on.   Way down south, in Western India a massive quake had hit the town of Bhuj in the Kutch area of the state of Gujarat.

As the entire subcontinent shifted up towards Europe 40% of the town was destroyed and thousands of people lost their lives. It was a disaster unprecedented in that part of India.

“Thanks” to the disaster thousands of international aid workers flooded into Bhuj and the region became open to the outside world. A land of deserts, salt flats and arid agriculture Kutch is one of those areas where nomad, smugglers and camel herders cross back and forth an international border as if such things don’t exist. This causes no end of stress and tension between India and Pakistan but nomads are unbothered. They just keep doing what they’ve always done. Smuggling and camel herding.

But they also sing and dance and chant. And tonight’s double disc set, which comes to us via the Jaipur based Dekulture music group, is a tremendous glimpse into the tribal music of this little appreciated region. Many of us know about the Raan (the salt desert) of Kutch but very few, including this scribe, have any idea about the rich musical traditions of this border area.

In this collection you’ll get raw, rough and authentic folk music. Made by traditional, often untrained, musicians from Muslim and Hindu communities. Sounds run the gamut of campfire chants to qawwali-like devotional music and instrumental melodies.

Just enjoy it all!

Kutch 1

Track Listing:

1-01 Chalade Aye Rulalyi [Mura Lala Fafal & Various Artists]

1-02 Untha Mu Tola Aandho Aaya [Raja Kana Kharet & Various Artists]

1-03 Ek Pardesi Much Aankh Bagi [Dana Bharmal]

1-04 Anth Bahar Di Kalan Kayi …[ Ismail Jhuma Mohamad Para & Various Artists]

1-05 Sartiyu Aaita Vanore Vano …[ Musa Para]

1-06 Samiyan Sariyu Soan Jyu …[ Salambhai Kasam Haleputra & Various Artists]

1-07 Kismat …[ Samat Sajan Pathan]

1-08 Noori – Jam Tamaachi … Pakhaa …[ Abdulla Abdul Husen & Kafi Artists]



Track Listing Disc 2:

01 Aadu Panth Othaape, Nar Ochha Ho Ji Re…

02 Dharti Mathe Aambo …[ Mangal Singh Rathod]

03 Bawaliya Periya Prem Ji [Karsanbhai Ahir]

04 Kanudo Indho Vala, Ae Suhagan…[ Sukaria Nar Fafal & Various Artists]

05 Ulatya Baan Laga Gagan Ra…[ Mura Lala Fafal & Various Artists]

06 Aavo Madi Aavo Madi…[ Rajbai Naran Paradhi & Various Artists]

07 Sonala Vataki Ne Rupela Kangasadi [Amrut Barot]

08 Ae Bethi Ne Morari Momai Mataji…[ Sona Kancha Rabari & Various Artists]

09 Ek Nish, See See Eat ujas,…Natwar…[ Bhan Muru Gadhvi & Various Artists]

10 Aan Dhan The Aage Aaya, Jete…[ Jasa Dana Sanjot]

11 Marvi (Kutchi Kafi)…[ Noormohamad Soda]

12 Sur..[ Osman Sonu Sawan Jat]

13 Kutchi Tarz…[ Suratnath Motinath Lalvadi]

14 Raag Rano…[ Jusab Sumar Langa & Various Artists]


6 thoughts on “Desert land music: Kutch

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