In a Bristolian independent cinema a trailer for Gangs of Wasseypur 2, a new Bollywood film, thunders into the room and steals everyones attention. The over-the-top style of these Indian epics seems to have now blended perfectly into the increasingly absurd level of Hollywood’s own action fare. So too, apparently, in the supporting song from the soundtrack: Chi Cha Leather, which gains it’s most powerful moment when the editing goes full Enter the Void.
The voice heard in the song is Durga, a 12 year old girl who was discovered singing this very song on local trains. The lyrics translate to compare the fake leather that makes up her shoes to the real leather of her heart – Chhichha meaning real, and the Hindi chhichhaledar meaning a bad situation, trouble, mess.
The song is strange and beautiful and I take every opportunity to play it to people with full volume and full bass. Opening with an almost 8-bit arcade chiming and sliding into the mystic tone of Durga’s voice, the drop brings in the intensity that creates it own surreal melody that at times slips very slightly out of time or pitch to remind of its own organic, cultural beginnings in a less digitally-perfected style.
I find something really alluring about this. Guess it’s just a bit different from what I am used to.