“Dance of the Subaltern”: Amirtha Kidambi´s Elder Ones

Northern Spy released recently “From Untruth”, the second LP by Amirtha Kidambi´s Ensemble Elder Ones  after the 2016 CD only release “Holy Science”.

These 4 Tracks are called: eat the rich / dance of the subaltern / decolonize the mind / from untruth – and so is the political agenda of this amazing record. Power, colonialism, capitalism, black consciousness,  truth / untruth.

And as divers is the music: There are free jazz elements, spoken word parts, a scattered singing (This approach is called is a so called carnatic musical singing style with hindu influences) of Amirtha Kidambi in literally 3 octaves like in Eat the Rich, sometimes her voice and way of singing reminds of Matana Roberts, sometimes more of an classical opera singer, sometimes whispering and crying to the instruments.  

The leading track of this record is to my point of view is the track “dance of the subaltern”, starting with an smooth voice intro and then after 2, 3 minutes the keys, the bass and the drums beginn and the voice is screaming in a tour de force parcour together with the soprano sax:

my rights are the leaves trampled upon by the feed of armies –
your rights are the leaves trampled upon by the feed of armies

The music is surely uneasy to listen to, there is no relief with these issues and themes, there are no clear song structures,  there has be these breaks and tensions, it is sometimes like a free jazz impro – but then there are beautiful harmonic melodic parts like the end of this track with the chorus:

Carried by the ocean we will rise / Buried by the ocean we will drown  

We will rise / We will drown

As beautiful is the chorus and the saxophone parts in the middle of the song From Untruth

from darkness into light /  from death into living  

It is a kind of bipolar soundtrack of these days political debates and the ongoing transformations in the society, told in an amazing musical language.

And it´s a statement -a dance of the subaltern. We won´t be silent.

Get this record here:  https://northernspyrecs.com/product/from-untruth/

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