Genre Guide: Antal Picks His Favorite Surinamese Funk Songs

Rush Hour co-founder and DJ Antal Heitlager runs down some irresistibly groovy and rare Surinamese funk cuts he found over years of digging.

The Netherlands has a large Surinamese population because Surinam was a former Dutch colony, and so a lot of Surinamese music has been produced here. It’s all inflected with the sounds from the many cultural backgrounds of its inhabitants, from Creoles to Hindus, Javanese, Native Americans and Chinese, among others. For example, kaseko is a Creole music that’s played at celebrations. There’s also Hindustani baitak gana and Javanese pop, which is pop combined with a bit of Javanese krontjong. The background behind the music is always fun to find out—especially with songs as old as these, because people can tell you at least 30 years of their own history in music. Thomas Gesthuizen [a leading figure in African hip-hop] and I found most of the Surinamese funk tunes I’ve listed below via friends, dealers and at record fairs, and it took us around 10 years to arrive at this selection.

Surinam Funk Force, a collection of rare Surinamese songs compiled by Antal and Thomas, is out now via Rush Hour.


up nextStarts in {{remainingTime()}}