Monday, November 10, 2008

World Mix Tape Vol. 8

My idea of roots music has been completely upset. What is the real feeling we have when we hear some old-timey music and feel like this is the real thing. Something like old country, Muddy Waters playing the acoustic, something like that. Something where you feel your heart strings being plucked away, and think "this is my culture, this is where I really come from."

Well I'm not sure what that means anymore. I for one, come from what barely resembles an American heritage, my family only having a history that dates back to a three generations. I am not country. I am not the blues.

In Japan, there is a traditional style of music called Enka, which is fantastic, but is mostly ignored by the younger people. It's seen as lame and only for old people. Now everything that is (ultra-)cool here in Japan comes from the West. Rock, hip-hop, fashion, psychedelic imagery, etc... nothing can be both traditional and cool, there is a strict divide between the two things.

For the past year there has been a rising star in the Enka scene, who is both capturing the hearts of old and young alike. His name is Jero and he fucking rocks, have a look:

Even, here, there is some tie to the roots and the person. Jero is one-quarter Japanese. But what about having no ties at all? You may remember another Tuareg band I posted a while ago called Tinariwen, this group is similar. I have no ties to them, but to me, this is what roots is all about.

Tartit - Houmeissa



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