I picked up this strange 7" single at a jumble sale a couple of weeks ago and was immediately intrigued...the music seemed to be Indian in origin, but the record itself was from Trinidad & Tobago. The music itself is reminiscent of Bollywood film music, with driving rhythms and saucy lyrics. But I was still intrigued about the Trinidad connection. Now we have the world at our fingertips, it seems that mysteries like this can be resolved in moments. This is Chutney music, indigenous to the Southern Caribbean, Trinidad, Tobago and Guyana. It was created by Indo-Caribbeans, the ancestors of people from the Indian subcontinent who were transported to the West Indies during the height of the European Colonial period and served as indentured servants in the colonies. Once again, the music indirectly tells stories of the diaspora, of the movement of people around the world, the mutability of culture and the impossibilities of nationalism.
Here is the man himself, Sundar Popo:
And here are the two sides of the single so you can sample the flavours of Caribbean Chutney!