Worldtown Hearsay :: Kabul Rock City
First it was Heavy Metal in Baghdad, now it’s Kabul Hard Rock. What do societies under military occupation, Rumi and computer-literate music producers have in common? Well, it’s a penchant for Western influenced and locally imbued forms of music, it seems. Kabul’s new rock musicians follow a long line of a poetic musical tradition, often inviting the influence of Western musical styles and being vocal about the dark side of politics and corruption in the city. Many of these musicians have lived outside Afghanistan for many years, staying connected to the political and cultural transitions in the country, and bringing in a needed perspective on the wear and tear dialogue around Afghanistan. The result is a ‘fusion’ not uncommon to a new form of localized protest form of music:
“This fusion of the staples of Afghan music – tabla, harmonium, robab, and Persian poetry – with the aggression and growling that both bands see as central to Metal, is a continuation of an ongoing global trend of making something you have had a long-time connection to more your own, whenever newer styles of music infiltrate a nation’s popular culture. “The more hybrid the music is, the more people get into it because it really feels like its ‘their’ music,’” says Mark Levine, a professor of history at UC Irvine and author of Heavy Metal Islam.”
Continue reading the full story on Al Jazeera English.