Something from the new wave of Eastern music that came to prominence in the early 1990s. This was exemplified by Nation Records and their most political group, Fun-Da-Mental.


Fun-Da-Mental is a multi-ethnic, British, world fusion and ethno techno band formed in 1991. The core members of the group consist of Aki Nawaz (who uses the stage name “Propa-Gandhi”) and Dave Watts (who goes by “Impi-D”). Nawaz (who was a member of Southern Death Cult using his proper name Haq Qureshi) formed the group along with Man-Tharoo (also known as Goldfinger), DJ Obeah, and Bad-Sha Lallaman. The style of the group mixes Eastern and Western musical and cultural influences, featuring British dance club electronics, Indian, Afro-Caribbean, and worldbeat samples.


Thematically, Fun-Da-Mental is concerned with social justice, particularly in regard to Britain’s treatment of its Asian and Afro-Caribbean citizens. Though their lyrics they try to educate the British youth about the presence of Islam and the cause of extreme behavior. Fun-Da-Mental expresses their concerns of social justice by sampling the voices and rallying speeches of historically significant leaders from the past such as Gandhi, Malcolm X, and the Black Panthers.


Islam plays a large role in their anti-racist campaign lyrics. They have performed at antiracist events, like benefits, carnivals, concerts, and rallies. They are leaders that keep issues about the Asian population relevant to this events. They actively appear on different television shows in the UK to debate. The links to those can be found on their myspace page. They do, however, promote militancy and self defense through the lyrics of their songs.


Musically, Fun-Da-Mental borrowed extensive samples from Indian film music, particularly from the string sections. Through their juxtaposition with hip-hop rhythm tracks and angry raps, such samples are reconfigured, and a new hybrid Asian identity is emphasized. The band’s use of “Indian Sounds” as symbolic of certain experiences for second-generation British Asians.


Their political nature can be seen from the following selection of tracks:


1.Happy to Be Clappy– vocals by Kashaan -lyrics by Aki and Shamil-music produced by Aki -Published by QFM – Rights- 5 Uncivilised Tribes. The lyrics say it all – absorb, digest and consume


2.Darfur and Disneyland– vocals Lloyd Sparkes- lyrics Lloyd Sparks- music produced by Aki – Published by QFM/Copyright Control- Rights- 5 Uncivilised Tribes. We sing, dance, scream, shout, rant and vomit about many issues.


3.Guilt of the innocence– vocals by Tamana and Lloyd Sparkes Lyrics and music by Aki Nawaz- QFM/Copyright Control- owned by 5 Uncivilised Tribes While the guilty are free the innocent pay


Finally, something where the music matches the politics, their wonderful near-hit Mother India (with a Weatherall mix for extra listening pleasure):


Fun-Da-Mental – Mother India (Spirit Of The Tiger Moody Boyz Remix)


Fun-Da-Mental – Mother India (Sabres at Dusk Mix)


Fun-Da-Mental website


~ by acidted on May 28, 2009.

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