Saturday, August 25, 2007

M.I.A. - Kala

Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam's biography is so cool that it could almost be irritating: born from a Sri-Lankan family, her father is a Tamil revolutionary known as "Arular" (incidentally her first album's title), an activist that is still searched by the Sri-Lankan army; because of this, the rest of her family were forced to flee the country when she was very young, escaping to India before finally moving to London, where they were relocated as refugees. Here, she learned english and ended up studying fine art, film and video, while also starting her first experiments with music, together with her then-boyfriend Diplo. After "Arular", widely seen as one of 2005's best records, she was then refused a visa to enter the U.S.A. where she was supposed to work with Timbaland, all because of her origins and family history. She decided to take some time and travel around the world instead, with the goal of collecting new sounds, cultures and experiences that would take part in her second record. And here it is, the result of all this, "Kala". With an immense palette of sounds, beats and atmospheres, the few criticisms that were pointed at "Arular", saying that its songs sounded too similar (they didn't, but ok), are definitely no longer valid. There are still hints of hip-hop, baile funk, grime, ragga, dancehall or electro, but there's also Bollywood disco-sound, kid's beat-boxing, Pixies citations, even-more-audacious sonic elements and filthier beats, and a whole atmosphere of extreme globalization where every culture has something to say, even (especially) the most marginalized ones. And that's another way to look at "Kala": a visceral world-music record as done by a revolutionary woman where, instead of the usual touristic cliches, we have sweat, blood and sex fluids. M.I.A.'s strong and fascinating personna is the commander that gives sense to so many disparate elements, presenting "Kala" as a definition of her own kaleidoscopic and very personal universe. Maybe it doesn't sound as revolutionary as "Arular" did in 2005? Sure, but it doesn't matter anymore. She's already somewhere else and, apparently, she's taken the whole world with her. Actually, you couldn't get more political than that. (9/10)

1 comment:

triliti star said...


Não há uma sem duas nem duas sem três...

Sono ,

Cocanha ,

Random Types ,

Merdinhas ,

Arte .

Para limpar a ferrugem às correntes, estes foram os meus novos nomeados do prémio que recebi da gasolina.