Earlier this year, an Instagram channel called “Kashmir Music Live” catapulted itself onto the contemporary Kashmiri music scene with original and unprecedented commentary and critiques on new music releases. KML identifies itself as “documenting Koshur music” and sets its purpose “to create a community of people in Kashmir that are passionate about music and are willing to give the musicians the credit they deserve.” Here, Kashmir Music Live presents its top 10 tracks of 2020 from the contemporary Kashmiri music scene with commentary on each of the 10 songs.
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The Values of Independent Hip-Hop in the Post-Golden Era: Hip-Hop’s Rebels (2019, Palgrave Macmillan) — by Christopher Vito
Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, this book uncovers the historical trajectory of U.S. independent hip-hop in the post-golden era, seeking to understand its complex relationship to mainstream hip-hop culture and U.S. culture more generally. Christopher Vito analyzes the lyrics of indie hip-hop albums from 2000-2013 to uncover the dominant ideologies of independent artists regarding race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and social change. These analyses inform interviews with members of the indie hip-hop community to explore the meanings that they associate with the culture today, how technological and media changes impact the boundaries between independent and major, and whether and how this shapes their engagement with oppositional consciousness. Ultimately, this book aims to understand the complex and contradictory cultural politics of independent hip-hop in the contemporary age.
In anticipation of the soon-to-be-released longform “Hip Hop Retrospective” piece commemorating the body of work that Cres has produced over the last two decades, Inverse Journal presents the premiere of Cres’ documentary entitled “CRES: ONE LIFE”—a film that gives an insight into this Hip Hop artist’s journey from his native Alicante (Spain) to the US, Latin America and the rest of the world. With Cres as a vessel and intermediary, the documentary uncovers a greater story of interconnectivity within various communities and diverse groups (within this genre), pointing to a larger world that the Hip Hop artist occupies and brings together throughout his musical trajectory, while at the same time sharing space with some of the most recognizable and underground artists, producers and industry creatives.
Kashmir-based rock band Ramooz releases the music video for the first track from their upcoming album conceived and recorded during eight months of lockdown in Srinagar. The song “Aalav”, performed in Kashmiri, is infused with emotive lyricism matched by the evocative imagery of its music video. While some might engage with this music video from the frame of a “memoryscape”, its lyrical range and complex scenography ventures equally into the terrain of a “dreamscape”, where disjointed subtexts and multiple motifs point to a story outside of the frame and hidden deep within its contours. As such, “Aalav” (the call) is as evocative as memory and as elusive as dream, and not easily served to literalists. Video credits, relevant links and lyrics included.
(Re)centering Indigenous Perspectives in Music Education in Latin America — by Héctor Miguel Vázquez Córdoba
Indigenous knowledge has been marginalized and excluded through a system based on a worldview that perpetuates colonialism. The actions and attitudes of nation-states and academic bodies deem, recognize, and value certain ways of knowing as “superior,” which marginalizes knowledge from Indigenous cultures. Considering an educational philosophy that puts the knowledge and worldviews of local cultures at its heart is an urgent step towards changing this situation. In this text, I discuss the implementation of Styres’s (2017) Land-centred philosophical proposal in music education. This approach is built on the understanding that Indigenous knowledge has the same value as knowledge that comes from hegemonic Western centres. This perspective proposes to disrupt the role of Eurocentrism that accepts or rejects different ways of knowing and (re)centers Indigenous knowledge and worldviews.