Taa Deem – Asian Dub Foundation
Originally by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Following on from last weeks piece about how songs become acclaimed. We will now take your Gloria Gaynor disco classic and raise you a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan career. But before that a (very) brief lesson in Punjabi music. Qawwali is the devotional music of the Sufi tribe (if tribe is the right word – ethics ed). It fuses traditional Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Indian musical traditions, and that is all the three of us at TSOBO actually know about it.
Let’s go back to Nusrat and if you think that there was a lot of love for Gloria Gaynor, then stand by. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was widely known as ‘The Emperor of Qawwali’. Largely because he brought Qawwali to a worldwide audience – by scoring various films (I say various I mean like 50), and releasing ground breaking music (some of which went Top 5 in the UK) and was the first person to have Urdu language song in the UK charts.
He is also widely considered to be the most important person of Qawwal descent that has ever lived. Additonally the Japanese refer to him as the ‘Singing Buddha’. He’s featured on a Google Doodle (actually Badger is getting one of those for his 52nd birthday, it is surprise, don’t tell him), had films made about him and he has an entire building named after him in his native Faisalabad.
Beat that Gloria ‘Queen of Disco’ Gaynor.
‘Taa Deem’ was first released on Nusrat’s 1990 album ‘Mustt Mustt’ which was fact fans released on Peter Gabriel’s Real World Label.
The Asian Dub Foundation version first appeared on their seminal album ‘Community Music’ and is all kinds of wonderful over six minutes of Qawwali wailing, throbbing guitars, pounding drums and this fusion of rhythms. Marvellous.