The princes of qawwali are now its kings
When the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan left this world in 1997, the world of qawwali –that distinctive style of Sufi devotional singing–lost its guiding light, its global star. Into the void, and despite their tender ages at the time, stepped his nephews Rizwan and Muazzam Mujahid Ali Khan. In the quarter-century since, the brothers have proved themselves to not only be faithful adherents to traditional qawwali, but also to cast an eye elsewhere –see here Peoples Colony No 1, their dub-heavy collaboration with Temple of Sound. They’re still in very fine voice, their twin vocal lines still soaring and interweaving, rising up through the air like duelling birds, and propelled further by tabla and harmonium. Live performance of qawwali can be a transformative, deeply spiritual experience, especially if the Rizwan and Muazzam are at the controls.