Sounds of Babel Cornershop: India U. K.

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The name of the English band Cornershop originated from a stereotype about british asians, which states that they always have shops at the corners (corner= corner, shop= shop). In such a cliché there is an obvious racism, based on the idiosyncracies discriminatory product of the british colonial past, the same with which they have had to live with the immigrant indians and their descendants (like other ethnic groups, such as the pakistani or the caribbean, for example). In that harsh reality and everyday life that the faces with skinheads, neo-nazis, football hooligans, and conservative politicians, grow, manifest social treble, dancers and bittersweet as the of this group whose proclamation is a fusion of indian music, brit pop, alternative rock and dance electronic.

In the early nineties, in Leicester, England, the multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer of indian origin Tjinder Singh, his brother Avtar (bass), Ben Ayers (guitar) and drummer David Chambers formed this band. Their debut album, Hold on It Hurts, dating from 1994. To year and with changes in the formation, they released Woman’s Gotta Have It, but it was time after when When I Was Born for the 7th Time gave them their greatest fame. The remix the single “Brimful of Asha” (on the basis riffmica of “Sweet Jane”), performed by Norman Cook (alias Fatboy Slim), it became a huge success. It was followed by the production of Handcream for a Generation (2002), Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast (2009), Cornershop and the Double-O Groove Of (2011), Urban Turban: The Singles Club (2012) and Hold On It’s Easy (2015).

These interpreters of indie music have found three ways of producing a form of art, contemporary, viable and in touch with listeners in general. In the first instance, by means of its progressive benefit of double track, that is to say, the dilution of maternal influences in a music that is “foreign”; in the second place, through the employment of creative, fun way of the feedback received from both cultures; and, finally, to continue with the old tradition, rock star of the policy of the dance, that is, to exercise criticism while you enjoy.

The album Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast was the reaffirmation that the rock continues to be the cry directed without restriction to a large audience, one that has contributed more to remake british identity than any other form of art, or secular. It has always been a mixed bag in all senses. It is a democratic form, and it is multicultural; it is black and asian, working class, middle class, etc. If Cornershop speaks of it in his songs it is because that history belongs to them and that is something that everyone should know. His music is intelligent and witty, a permanent description ironic of british life today and for this quote in its melodies, both the Beatles as a T. Rex or the Rolling Stones. It is a form of identification that is based not on the rejection, but in the creativity.

Similarly, the mysterious south Asia, i.e. India, has exerted a very significant influence on the rock from the decade of the sixties. According to the mythology of the genre, this subcontinent is a land of sensitivities expansive. It is the ying of the primary forces in front of the yang of science contemporary western. Such interference has laid its previous via Great Britain. The most famous case has been that of the Beatles, who with “Norwegian Wood”, “Within You Without You” and other compositions —and as disciples of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi— incorporated a little bit of music raga and truths vedic in his work, middle and late.

The indian influence did act of presence even on the rock that lacked connections apparent with gurus or mysticism. The group Echo and The Bunnymen, become something as little exotic as the shadowy penumbra romantic, he used the sound raga in its best song, “The Cutter”, and, of course, the Rolling Stones included a touch of indian with the use of the sitar in the seminal song “Paint it Black” and in large parts of Their Satanic Majesties Request.

The rockers englishmen, therefore, have had a special attachment to the indian for the same cause for which their american colleagues feel connected to the black music. The natives of the East Indies make up over twenty percent of the population of London and of Birmingham. Similarly, as the number of immigrants from India and Pakistan grew in the british isles, the English musicians began to seek inspiration directly in Brixton or Leicester, rather than the traditional rodeo sentimental for Memphis.

On the other hand, the process of indian acculturation of the “cycle indian” (who will tirelessly and without interruption of the Great Britain to India and back and that has been enriched throughout history and its demographics) it also contains a catalytic influence by engendering a fertile music scene in each region. In the end, the rock is not an art of fixed forms, but of inflections that occur at the base of remote models and in the field of the large cities.

Such is the case of Cornershop, creative musicians who have had the advantage of water in sources of a long tradition (in both countries), all featuring characters suitable to them has been universal, with a sound more recognizable. A style that develops a genre of popular music, from cultural assimilation.