On 5th July 2019, Jaipur witnessed the launch of Amarrass Records’ latest vinyl album, Dubfounded, which is the label’s 15th and a genre-defying record by New Delhi’s electronic music producer Ravana recomposing the poetry of our very own Muslim Jogi folk poet Jumme Khan from Alwar, Rajasthan. The evening called, Amarrass Nights, was a huge success with more than 150 people of all ages came to become a part of the launch at the RRAP Music Museum and Hub.
The evening featured Barmer Boys — consisting of Manga (vocalist and harmonium), Rais Khan (morchang, khartaal, bhapang and beatboxing), and Razak Khan (dholak) — are the next generation of Manganiyar performers carrying forward their centuries-old musical traditions. Global ambassadors of Rajasthani folk and Sufi music, the trio’s versatility of styles and energy got thunderous claps from the audience throughout their set. Ravana & Jumme Khan performed an eclectic fusion of uptempo traditional folk, organic techno, dubstep and minimal.
Amarrass Nights are poised to be a series of monthly performances established as a platform to curate upcoming folk and traditional artists from India and abroad, and to introduce new collaborations and artist exchanges. The record label has already done over 40 concerts featuring a host of internationally renowned artists including Madou Diabate, Charanjit Singh and his 10 Ragas to a Disco Beat project, Lakha Khan, Gabacho Maroconnection, Madou Sidiki Diabatè and more. And with 14 albums released, the label and artists have been featured in the UNESCO 2013 Creative Economies Report while also receiving the prestigious ‘Top of the World’ Songlines Album Award.
The Museum, on the other hand, called Rajasthan Rural Arts Program (RRAP) museum and hub, an initiative of Jaipur Virasat Foundation have been promoting, disseminating, conserving, and repositioning the folk music traditions of Rajasthan with the rural musicians and musician communities at the centre stage. It calls itself a living museum that provides visitors with a gateway to the many different folk music cultures of Rajasthan through exhibitions, outreach programs, residencies, workshops, and diverse events.
As for the album that the event was organized for, Dubfounded which is a collaboration between Chellapa (aka Ravana) and Rajasthani Jogi folk poet and singer Jumme Khan, is a genre-defying record filled with 40 minutes of bass-heavy, krantikari bliss! “Khan describes himself as a Lord Shiva bhakt and a Muslim Jogi – identities he channels in his words, which are searing observations on contemporary subjects,” said Ammarrass’ founders. “When we thought of bringing Khan and his folk poetry to the urban music-scape, we knew that no one else but Ravana could give Khan’s powerful commentary another form and life.” The album does complete justice with these words and sends chills down your spine with the heart-piercing poetry and teleporting music.