Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 9th 2014 Contents CONTINUES FROM PAGE B3
The intention is to honour all
three, which has already thrown up
some challenges: "We always hide
our face, because that is a true mas-
querade form," says Young, noting
the black Indian carries a stick, a
sword, and a shield, but no mask.
There is also the question of
feathers. "You have to earn your
feathers [in the traditional black
Indian mas], so we won't have feath-
ers. We'll use something to look like
feathers." Other options under con-
sideration are a collection of yard
fowl feathers or trawling the beach
in search of corbeau.
In the weeks between the band's
February 6 launch and Carnival
Tuesday, Vulgar Fraction's members
will try to resolve these questions,
while continuing to deepen an
understanding of the original mas
"We want to build a connection
to the people who have the tradition.
To try to get into their rituals, if
they allow us. To try to sing their
songs, if they allow us. To continue
it," says Young.
Uncomfortabling the space
At its core, however, Vulgar Frac-
tion is a challenge to the prevailing
orthodoxies of Carnival. The band's
custom is to weave in and out of
the parade route, dancing to what-
ever music they hear on the road,
masked and unregistered.
Young calls it "uncomfortabling
the space," an approach that has
occasionally led to the uncomfort-
abling of his fellow Vulgarians. He
recalls a band member being
roughed up by soldiers at the Savan-
nah, overzealously demanding the
removal of a mask.
A motley group seeking to cross
the stage without registration can
bring questions from the authorities.
"A band don't look like that!" says
Young, mimicking the falsetto tone
of an incredulous policeman.
The black Indian concept fits well
with the uncomfortabling masquer-
ade. Young misses the proliferation
of the old characters on the streets
at Carnival time---"A lot of the mas
that is mas is kind of disappearing."
The "mas that is mas" is capable
of triggering feelings of exuberance
or terror. He remembers the fear he
felt as a child when he heard the
crack of the whips of the jab jabs
on the road. And he acknowledges
the black Indian, bearing the articles
of a warrior and the suspicion of
magic, as "a costume with a kind
of dread to it."
• Behind the Mas continues
If you ve heard of electronica
producer and percussionist LAZ-
Abeam (aka Keshav Chandradath
Singh of KIN Sound System, The
Generals and 3Canal s Cut +
Clear Crew, among other bands),
it may interest you to note his
latest project: a collaboration
with UK-based producer and DJ
Using the moniker JUS NOW,
the pair will play the Maraval
venue TAO Sushi on February 18.
The duo's Facebook page says,
"This exciting new project aims
to push boundaries using a fusion
of traditional Caribbean rhythm
and culture, combined with the
sub heavy sound of the Bristol/UK
"Separated by 4,500 miles and
brought together by a shared love
of bass, rum and parties, JUS
NOW have worked between both
Trinidad and Bristol to create their
debut One Time EP."
So far they have had good suc-
cess, being responsible for Bunji
Garlin's Truck on D Road, Beenie
Man's D Way Yuh Wine, and
Machel Montano's Junction.
"We have a live show that's been
touring England, playing at festivals
like Glastonbury, Boomtown and
Notting Hill," LAZAbeam said, via
Facebook chat last week.
"This is the first show that we,
ourselves, are putting on in
Trinidad," LAZAbeam said. "We
want to bring the vibes home after
being on the road for months. It's
going to be wild, full of bass and
maybe even a little emotional."
Having collaborated with a
number of very prominent per-
formers---add to the list Neval
Chatelal, Trinidad James, Kees
Dieffenthaller, MX Prime, M1,
Silva, Vanna Vee and Kerwin
Prescott---the act promises to have
some of those partners as guest
performers on the night.
Which ones? LAZAbeam isn't
telling. Check the event page on
Facebook and make your best
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt February 9, 2014
'First all-Trini film gets
Facebook fan page'
CONTINUES FROM PAGE B4
A month after legal action was
taken against the Censors Board, the
film was finally screened---uncut---
at the landmark Roxy cinema in St
"The language is harsh; it had
plenty cusswords," Ganase recalls,
"but not unwarranted. People who
have seen the film are the ones who
perceive it as seminal and important.
There is a ring of truth in Bim the
The film certainly appears to have
a timeless quality to it. Ganase attests
that "viewers of all ages and in every
decade respond [to the film] the same
way...as if it is something that they
were deprived of.
"It's not that I want people to
know the film," she says. "It is that
people have a hunger for it."
Ganase says the Bim Facebook
page "will point us in a direction
that comes from the collective." One
idea that came out of user com-
ments, for instance, was the sug-
gestion by artist Christopher Cozier
to work towards having Bim listed
in Martin Scorsese's World Cinema
Project, which restores and distrib-
utes films from countries that are
underrepresented in global film cul-
"It is a worthwhile idea that might
be an avenue for new distribution,"
Ganase explains. "There will be a
showing in the future. But I think
that will happen when the time is
Visit the Facebook page for
Bim the Movie.
JUS NOW at TAO
Bristol DJ and producer Interface and T&T producer and percussionist LAZAbeam will perform as JUS NOW on
February 18. PHOTO COURTESY LIME.TT/JUS NOW
Elements of the Black I design, at
Propaganda, the mas camp, in
Designer Robert Young, who is facilitating the band Vulgar Fraction. This
year's presentation is Black I, and will be based on the traditional black
Indian mas. PHOTOS: ANU LAKHAN
Visit the Vulgar Fraction
Facebook page, or Propaganda,
24 Erthig Road, Belmont.
'A band don't look like that!'
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