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Delirious With Weird

Friday, October 17, 2003  
Nick sits at the computer in his bedroom, tapping at the keys, pausing and retracing his digital steps every few seconds as his slightly drunken fingers hit the wrong keys, Massive Attack's remix of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's "Mustt Mustt" schloozing from the small, fake-wood speakers positioned to either side of his flatscreen monitor (digital interference flashing pink as he illegally downloads more music), each speaker a light brown box, some nine inches high, powered by the small, glass-fronted Sony minisystem which sits, pushed shamefully into a corner, atop the chest-of-drawers to his left. Cables spiderweb behind and beside the dressing tabnle which masquerades as a desk. Nick considers whether he is a cultural tourist, an athiest fake, stealing pleasure from devotional music created in a world which is almost entirely other to him. If they want Coca-Cola then I can want Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, he thinks. Is that wrong? I never liked Coke anyway... Nick doesn't understand the words (now past Mustt Mustt and onto the less Westernised Devotional and Love Songs) and cannot ever hope to, but the swirling, magnificent arc of Fateh Khan's voice, the endless surge of tabla-based percussion and the droning, heart-yanking instrumentation beneath the rhythm does something in his chest and guts and the back of his head that makes such considerations seem trivial. Who cares about right and rite and understanding and religion when there is this?

10/17/2003 09:09:00 pm


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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

All material © Nick Southall, 2003/2004/2005