Delhi Sultanate has long pioneered the sounds of reggae and hip hop in India. In addition to his solo career, he owns and runs Bass Foundation Roots sound system with his partner Begum X. New Delhi’s first hand built reggae sound system. He is also lead vocalist for India’s first ska and rocksteady band The Ska Vengers.
BFR Sound System play strictly vinyl selection across a range of Jamaican genres and a vast collection of dubplates. The sound supports free speech, political activism and community development. They are on a mission to take reggae music to the heart of India and connect worldwide.
Delhi says, “Reggae music means different things to different people and each one of us, selectors, artists, promoters have a role to play in what it can become. Reggae can be banal, meaningless hippie feel good music, it can be murder music, it can be homophobic and materialistic.
Reggae can also express ideas of pan-Africanism, Blackness and Negritude connecting us to the philosophy of Aime Cesaire and the grandiose worlds of thought of Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X. It can forever remind us of the brutality of colonial history and the grace and dignity of those who have fought against it. This is what sets reggae apart from all other popular forms of music. To quote Sizzla, “We wont bow to the colonial slave master nor their principle – not time at all – that is why we have reggae music – reggae music don’t only mean you come sing and dance and put on red gold and green nothing nah guh so”.
I try to cut dubs in a unique way so when people come to a BFR Sound System session, they get a chance to hear from their favourite artists in ways they have not before. Sometimes, I also like to develop a theme through riddim selections.
The mix opens with a couple of cuts on a version of the Money Money Money riddim produced by Chris McGuiness. The original tune is a combination with myself, Sizzla and a singer from India called Comrade Bant Singh and has not yet been released. It’s my wish that some of you google who Bant Singh is and learn about his story.
Bant Singh, was attacked by powerful land lords in his area for fighting a case against them after the rape of his daughter. He was attacked so viciously that his arms and legs had to be amputated. Not long after the operation, he was on his hospital bed. Singing songs against the opressors. His words are like drops of blood.
After a few cuts on Sizzla’s version of ‘Everyman a Little Way Different’ you’ll hear a one away cut of Errol Dunkleys tune. This is an acetate from the mighty Coxsone collective. I don’t believe that this version of the cut was ever released.
I hope you enjoy the mix. Come visit one of our sound system sessions if you happen to pass through India at the right time. Zindabad”.