Posts from 28th April 2014

28
Apr 14

CORNERSHOP – “Brimful Of Asha (Norman Cook Remix)”

Popular83 comments • 9,107 views

#785, 28th February 1998

asha In the mid 90s, if you were looking for alternatives to Britpop’s domination of the media you’d find fertile pickings – so fertile, in fact, that it turned into a whole line of attack. Take Britpop’s nostalgic, ironised relationship with the country’s pop past, and contrast it with trip-hop, or drum’n’bass, and their rapid innovation and pace of change. To make the argument even more enticing, Britpop stars were mostly white, while black and Asian British musicians played huge roles in the scenes held up against them. Nostalgic white past versus thrilling multi-cultural futurism: it was an almost irresistible frame.

But it was also too simplistic. One of the things the analysis left out – because Britpop left it out – was the heritage of immigrant communities within Britain – which ran back well beyond the cultural memory of Swinging London. Nostalgia could be a poison, but it could also lead to splendid, resonant music, so why impose conceptual limits on who gets to make that music? Black and Asian Britons had a 60s and a 70s here too. Fight the past with the future, by all means, but other pasts, and other nostalgias, were available, and could be just as vital. “Brimful Of Asha” proved it.

»
More