chapter  3
19 Pages

Revisiting Britain’s ‘Afro Trend’ of the 1960s and 1970s: Musical Journeys, Fusions, and African Stereotypes

Notting Hill Carnival is a spectacular event with the flamboyant costumes of dancing mas bands, the splashes of colourful body paint, mud or chocolate staining the bodies of its J'Ouvert opening parade's revellers. This chapter explores Carnival's irreducible heterogeneities and poly-vocalities as a unique expression of British cultural life and the country's musical landscape. It describes that specifically the sounding of Carnival affords an understanding of Carnival's unique contribution to the British music scene in terms of the mixing, mashing and interference between different traditions. Examining these helps us to understand how Carnival's distinctive London street location makes it different from other similar events, such as a music festival. As a methodological approach, the thinking through of the sounding of Carnival helps to draw attention to the reciprocal relationship between convergent and divergent sociocultural forces, simultaneously shrinking and expanding, local and global, both centripetal and centrifugal.