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Dubfounded

by Ravana & Jumme Khan

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about

The album Dubfounded, conceived and curated by Amarrass Records, brings together two relatively obscure underground artists as well as different music styles for a listening experience that is poetic, powerful and haunting in its sharp commentary on our world, delivered in the universal language of dub.

The seeds for this album were sown when we first heard Jumme Khan, a Jogi folk poet from Alwar, at a show in Rajasthan in January 2018. 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. When we thought of bringing Khan and his folk poetry to the urban music-scape, we knew that no one else but Ravana -- an accomplished artist we had worked with in the past -- could give Khan's powerful commentary another form and life.

With this in mind, we presented the artists at the Amarrass Nights@Qutab concert in Delhi in July 2018, where the two met for the first time. A recording session at the Amarrass Records terrace followed, where the poetry and conversations of Jumme Khan were recorded. With over two hours of recordings in hand, Ravana set to slicing, contextualizing and composing the six tracks featured on this album.

It is hard to pigeonhole the sound of this album, spanning genres and with influences ranging from the blues to deep dubstep and reggae, but perhaps a fitting introduction to Ravana, the Delhi-based electronic music producer, sampling agent, and composer. With over 30 albums to his credit (mostly self-released) and countless singles and mixes under his various monikers, Ravana has been at the creative edge of music and activism for over two decades. This is his first record to be released on Amarrass Records, and #15 on the label!

credits

released April 19, 2019

Analog mastering - Johanz Westerman, Ballyhoo Studio
Album artwork - Mahua Sen
Lyrics translations and liner notes - Aakar Patel
Jumme Khan recording by Ashutosh Sharma

(c) & (p) 2019 Amarrass Records

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Ravana & Jumme Khan New Delhi, India

A powerful poetic statement in the universal language of dub.

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Track Name: My Beloved (Sakhi Ri Mere)
Sakhi ri mere darad kaleja ma howe
Din nahi chain raiyn nahi neendiyaa re
Din nahi chain raiyn nahi neendiyaa re
Kisko kahun ri dukh rowe
Sakhi ri mere darad kaleja ma howe
Yeh vaid kya jaane
mujhe gham ki bimari hai
Aadhi raat pichley peherewa re
Main toh tadap tadap rahi sowe
Sakhi ri mere darad kaleje ma howe

My love, my heart aches for you
No peace in the day, sleepless at night
Who should I take my woes to?
My love, my heart aches for you
The physician doesn’t know
what ails me is melancholy
But the watchman calling out
the night hours knows surely
It was torture trying to get some sleep
My love, my heart aches for you
Track Name: Ways of The World (Karigari Re Kalyug)
Teri kaarigari re kalyug, ulti ganga baha raha
Aaj ka Shravan, maat-pita ke thokar laga raha
Aye mere desh ki behenon, ab saavdhan rehna
paapi bhi apne haath mein, raakhi bandha raha

Oh modern world, you make even the Ganges flow the other way
While the Shravan* of today kicks his parents away
Sisters of my country keep the imposter brother at bay

* Mythical Indian hero devoted to his father and mother
Track Name: Intoxication (Sulfa, Ganja, Bhang)
Ek baat yaad aa gayi thodi si, Poora bhajan to hai nahi, thoda sa hi hai
Bhai keh rahe the ek bhai ko:
Arey nasha buri hai cheej jagat mein, Re aadmi ne akkal aani chahiye
Sulpha, ganja, bhang re daaru, Naa peeni pyaani chahiye

I just remembered that thing
(It’s not the complete poem, just a bit)
A man told another:
O, intoxication is a vice in this world
Now the man of wisdom, he knew
Sulpha, dope, grass (and booze)
Such things he must always eschew
Track Name: Hopelessness (Ashaon Ka Hua Khatma)
Aashaon ka hua khaatma, Dil ki tamanna bani rahi
Jab pardesi hua rawaana, Sundar kaaya bani rahi
Ek pandit ji apne ghar mein patraa dekha karte the
Jeevan maran ki jeev kundli ka lekha-jokha karte the
Marne ka jab time aaya, pothi unki dhari rahi
Aur jab pardesi hua rawaana, Sundar kaaya bani rahi

My hopes are fully ended, but the desires within still remain
When the stranger left, I remained beautiful but alone again
An astrologer scans the stars on a horoscope,
pronouncing fates, accounting lifes and deaths
But when the time came for him to go,
his book offers no answers,
When the stranger left, I remained beautiful but alone again
Track Name: Dub Unity (Sab Bakwas Hai)
Sab raddh ho gayi, Khatam ho gayi, Nahi hai, Kisi ke paas nahi hai
Kehte hain na - main woh jaanta hoon main woh jaanta hoon
Sab bakwaas hai

Mere paas mein imaandaari sachchai hai,
Yahi bachi hai mere paas aur kuch nahi hai saab
Haamare jo yo kehte hain ki tumhare jo jajmaan hote hai
Hamara koi jajmaan nahi hai
Hamare toh poori gaaon jajmaan hota hai; sab samaaj
Hindu ho Musalmaan ho, Iss tarike ke (matlab) do do hain
Ham hain jogi, Par hamara toh sarkaar mein bhi naam nahi hain
Woh nahi jaante musalmaan jogi kaun hote hain, Aise nahi jaante
Nahi jab ki Bhishti, Sakka sabko jaante hai,
Miya saab hote hain, faqeer hote hain, Unka sabka naam hai
Lekin hamari qaum ka, government ke pannon pe hi naam nahi hai
Sab bakwaas hai

Sarkaar ke woh hote hain na, Unpe thoda sa apne hisaab se
unpe likh leta hoon main, Jaise bhrun hatya hai
Samaaj mein jaise chal raha hai mahaul samaaj ka, Iss tarike ka
Meri khudki rachna sunaoon? Gaाon wale toh sunte hain
Pata nahi shehar walon ko pasand aayega ya nahi aayega
Allah jaanta hai

Ham haath mein Gita rakhenge seene mein Qur’an rakhenge
Mel badhayega aapas mein woh dharam imaan rakhenge
Shankh bajayenge bhaichaare ka, mann ki na jaan rakhenge
Ham Kaaba bhi rakhenge, Kashi bhi rakhenge
Magar pehle Hindustan rakhenge, Yeh hamari soch hoti hai
Ekta ka sandesh, gaaon mein jaakar de aana, unko batana

It is finished, ended fully, Nobody had it and nobody has it
He who says: I knew that and I know this, talks rubbish

I have my ethics and my honesty,
But that is all that is left: nothing remains
You have your benefactors, I have none to call my own,
but the whole village is my patron -
every Muslim, every Hindu, every human.
That means two things, you see, first that I’m a mystic,
And I am invisible to the State.
Because for them our community doesn’t exist.
The castes of the water-giver and wine-pourer they know
They know the merchant from the mendicant.
But my people are invisible and missing from the pages
of their knowledge.

I try to write on those pages of theirs, of the things in our
society, like foeticide,
In these compositions of mine, the ones that the villagers
listen to, but God only knows if the city folks care.

I keep the Gita in my hand and the Koran on my heart
We become more human when our faith is thus and we
Sound the conch of brotherhood
The Ka’aba is as precious to us as is Kashi
But our country is above them both
That is our real creed and
this Message of unity is what we spread.
Track Name: Proverbial Track (Duniya)
Haalaat gajab ye duniya ke, Main kehta hua guzar gaya
Murakh maanas maane konya, isliye kasht uthaate hain
Chatur aadmi ratan nikaale, auron ko samjhaate hain
Murakh maanas maane konya, isliye kasht uthaate hain

Jo matlab seti baat kare, Uss maanas ki yaari kya
Har dam chinta rahe shareer mein, Issey buri bimari kya
Haalaat gajab ye duniya ke, Main kehta hua guzar gaya

Bin nahaaye bhojan pe baithe ho, Mandir ka pujari kya
Thela, gaadi oont sawari, Baithan ki sawari kya
Rajasthan mein oonton ko dharti ka jahaaz batate hain
Murakh maanas maane konya, isliye kasht uthaate hain

The world is such a wonder, I observed as I passed it by
The idiot spends his day in labour,
The wily one mines jewels through words
The idiot spends his day in labour

Why befriend him who only looks out for himself?
What ailment can be worse than worry,
which overwhelms the senses?
The world is such a wonder, I observed as I passed it by

Sitting to dine without a bath, what good is the priest
observing his rituals?
A cart, a wagon, a camel ride,
Sitting, sailing, through the sands
They say in Rajasthan, the camel is the ship of the desert
The idiot spends his day in labour.

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