Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Psychedelic Singh - Aaj Na Socho

The Psychedelic Singh, also known as Amarik Singh from Bradford, has remixed an old Nahid Akhtar song in a way in which only he can. Aaj Na Socho is a funky retro track which parties like it's 1969. There is a modern feel to this remix, yet it is sepia tinted. The Psychedelic Singh has kindly made this available as a free download via soundcloud, so make sure you add it to your collection.

Take Five: Cars

Today's Take Five is all about cars. Cars are often used as props in bhangra videos, but here are some songs which talk about cars in the lyrics or use them to stunning effect in Bollywood.

Miss Pooja - Ferrari Laike

From her album Breathless and produced by Tigerstyle Ferrari Laike has some interesting lyrics. Miss Pooja's vocals are great on this song, which also features Roachkiller.

Monday, 30 January 2012

BBC Asian Network Gold Highlights

If like me you were glued to BBC Asian Network Gold on the red button last week, you may be going through withdrawal symptoms. This was a brilliant programme which showed live performances from the BBC archives. Surprisingly, many of the clips shown on the programme are on the internet. These were probably recorded from such programmes as Nai Zindagi, Naya Jeevan and Network East the first time they were shown on TV ast he quality lacks HD sharpness, but that makes them all the more magical. Please note that I have not uploaded these clips and do not own the content - I have just put them into one handy viewing list for people to enjoy.

Lata Mangeshkar - Lag Ja Galay

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Tarli Digital - Dil Dhak Dhak Soniye

Taril Digital, the Birmingham based bhangra producer who has worked with artists such as Dalvinder Singh and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, has release a teaser of his new single Dil Dhak Dhak Soniye on soundcloud. This is a great bhangra track with some funky Arabic style samples thrown. in. Des-C sings the main vocals and the track also features Cheshire Cat. Both Des-C and Cheshire Cat are talented artists that are often overlooked so I'm pleased that Tarli chose them to provide the vocals on this song. There is a summery vibe to this track and I can see it filling dance floors.  

Like Tigerstyle's Kudi, Dil Dhak Dhak Soniye was premiered on Nihal's show when it was broadcast as 7pm rather than 9pm over the new year. On Nihal's show he talked about how he put the song together and how Des-C only took 10 minutes to write the lyrics in Tarli's studio. Dil Dhak Dhak is taken from Tarli's album Digital and will be released on the 2nd February

Friday, 27 January 2012

Tigerstyle - Kudi

Tigerstyle, the musicians, producers and brothers from Glasgow, have released a teaser of their forthcoming single Kudi on soundcloud. Rani Randeep provides traditional Punjabi lyrics, but there is a heavy bass line and plenty of electronic sounds which make this so much more than an average bhangra song. As with all Tigerstyle tracks the production is slick and the beats are infectious. If you liked Bol Bol Bol from the album  Mystics, Martyrs and Maharajas, you will love this track.

Kudi is taken from their EP Digi-Bhang. A few radio programmes have already played Kudi, including Nihal who premiered the song when his show was at 7pm over the new year. The single is out on the 23rd February and will feature remixes of the song by Shizzio, G-ta and Nucleya as well as an instrumental version.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Raghav - Top Of The World

Random fact for the day: people who run mobile discos have some of the highest vehicle insurance costs because they tend to travel at night and they work in places where people tend to drink lots of alcohol. Raghav probably didn’t realise this when shooting the video for Top of the World, which sees him hosting a travelling mobile party in the back of a truck.

The video starts by zooming in from outer space to show two men driving in a truck discussing Raghav’s song. It then cuts to Raghav arguing with his girlfriend and when she drives away without him the truck gives him a lift. The back of the vehicle is empty except for a DJ who is conveniently playing Raghav’s single. The truck gradually picks up passengers and shots alternate between a full party truck and Raghav inside it on his own. The vehicle eventually comes to a stop somewhere high where it overlooks the bright lights of the city and the viewer zooms back out again into space.

Monday, 23 January 2012

G-ta Remixes Surinder Kaur's Akhiya

Surinder Kaur, the legendary Punjabi singer, has been given a dubstep makeover by g-ta. Akhiyan Wich Tu Vasda is an old Punjabi song which was also in the Bollywood film Oye Lucky Lucky Oye! This remix floats Surinder Kaur's beautiful vocals over heavy dubstep beats whilst managing to keep all the feeling in the lyrics. Akhiya is available as a free download via soundcloud, so get it while you can.

BBC Asian Network Gold on Red Button

The Asian Network has trawled through the BBC archives and put together a programme of performances from singing legends to watch on the Red Button. Highlights taken from four decades include a hilarious Jagjit Singh - Chitra duet, a performance from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Gurdas Maan singing Challa. As well as the singing, the show offers a glimpse into the fashions of the day. My favourite performance was of Apna Sangeet singing Soho Road Utte wearing what looked like giant Quality Street sweet wrappers. All these were originally show one of the BBC's Asian television shows such as Nai Zindagi, Naya Jeevan and Network East.

The show is available to watch until Sunday. For full details of how to watch it and when, visit the BBC Asian Network.

Friday, 20 January 2012

The Kominas - Kominas Review

Everyone loves getting something for nothing and over the past few months quite a few high profile artists have released their albums as free downloads. Kominas is defiantly the edgiest out of all them. With the current issues about internet piracy and legislation to stop file sharing, knowing I legally downloaded this album from a website that is now being shut down makes me feel rebellious before I started listening.

I only discovered The Kominas recently, after their brilliant BBC Live Session at Maida Vale. Other reviewers better acquainted with The Kominas’work have said this album is more grown up, less Taqwacore. The sound of the band has changed with the line up and they now sound less angry. Perhaps this is a grown up sound, but I can still hear the anger in this album. but it’s more well thought out protest than full on riot. Although not as shocking as a large riot, a protest can still get results and this album does.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Jay Dabhi's International Love & Sadi Gali Mashup

Jay Dabhi, the New York based DJ who used to stand on milk crates to reach the turntables, has made a mash up of RDB's Sadi Gali and International Love by Pitbull featuring Chris Brown. This is a great mashup that takes the best elements of each song and turns it into a track that is great for the dance floor. Sadi Gali, which was first relased on the album Three, has been remixed quite a few times by various people. This is defiantly one of the best versions currently out there.

This mashup is available for free download from soundcloud, so get it while you can.

Ranbir S Remixes Bikram's ELB

Ranbir S, one of the producers who worked on Bikram Singh's new album, has released a remix of Electro Love Boliyan. The Duff Dub version is slower and softer but still keeps the digital electro edge. The main noticeable change is to the drums, which sound similar to those in Ae Ajnabi from the film Dil Se. Producers do not usually remix their own track so soon after the main release, but Ranbir S has managed to give this song a whole new feel which works well. There has already been one great remix of ELB and as it is such a good track I'm sure there will be a few more to come.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Free Track with the Friction Podcast

Bobby Friction, the voice of late nights on BBC Asian Network, has revamped his weekly podcast. The Friction podcast now includes one free track. This week's track is True Story by AC. It contains strong material, so please be aware of this before listening.

The Friction podcast is only available to those in the UK. You can subscribe to the podcast directly through itunes or to manually download it visit the BBC Podcast site.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Parichay - Human Machine

Parichay, the Canadian singer who gave away his album All New Everything as a free download after Christmas, has released a video for Human Machine. This song opens the new album and it’s a nice energetic song. It deserves a separate release and I’m pleased Parichay made a video for it. The song is catchy and has a good beat. I like the way the different elements of the track have been put together and the production makes it sound great.

The video is set in a club with lights so bright that Parichay was forced to keep his sunglasses on. Apart from Parichay and his dancers, the place is empty. There is no drinking and no flashy cars like in the video for Queen of Spades. Thankfully there is also no smoking involved like in the other videos that Parichay has made. The scenes are well edited with fancy effects and Parichay models a new outfit in each one.

The dancers are standard for a song that talks about making a man go insane. They forgot to put on skirts and some of the moves are racy, but considering that the lyrics are about winding up booty everything is relatively PG. The women should have taught Parichay some of their moves as there are times when he doesn’t know what do by himself on the multicoloured light up dance floor. 

I’d heard the song but it was only until I saw this video that I thought about the lyrics. “Beat it like a human machine” is obviously a metaphor for something with an 18+ rating. But it is a metaphor that doesn’t make sense. Taken literally, a “human machine” is impossible. A person can work or act like a machine, but a human cannot be a machine in physiological terms. In a literary sense, there is no visual imagery. I even asked Parichay on Twitter what it meant to see if there was any meaning behind it e.g. on seeing the woman his thoughts and actions become base and mechanical like a machine so he can get the girl. But apparently there is no deep meaning behind the lyrics.

I like lyrics to make sense, especially when they form the chorus and the title of the song. Parichay should be given credit for writing lyrics that are different and interesting enough to make people stop and think before they sing along. The lyrics in the rest of the song are great. The languages that Parichay sings in all have wonderful expressions which he could have used. But he invented his own, which for me didn’t quite work.

Overall this video is one of the better bhangra videos currently around. It does not turn boring after a few viewings thanks to flashy lights and slick effects. More conservative relatives might raise an eyebrow at the dancers, but hopefully they won’t ask what “beating it like a human machine” involves.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Take Five: Amazing Album Only Tracks

Today's Take Five is inspired by a tweet from JoSH band member Q. On 7th January he said :
"There are so many amazing songs in albums that don't get heard because they don't have videos. Listen to albums people! Lots of gems there!"
Back in the days before youtube and soundcloud existed it was impossible to hear teasers of all the track like now. You usually only got to hear the main single from the album and had to judge from that if the CD was worth buying. I usually bought albums after loving the promoted track and often found there was a song on there that I liked better than the featured track. Here are five songs that were overlooked, underrated and lacked the promotion of the main tracks.

 Imran Khan - Peli Waar

For some people, Imran Khan is synonymous with Amplifier. I however prefer Peli Waar from the album Unforgettable. It uses guitars and has a rock feel to it which is so different to the other songs on the album. Imran's vocals are brilliant on this track and it does not start to get annoying after a few listens.  

JoSH - Yeh Zameen
Out of all the songs on Beyond Kismat, Pyar Ho Gaya is the one that got its own video. But in my opinion Yeh Zameen is much better. It has a lovely soulful sound that I instantly associate with JoSH. A beautiful soft track that is sadly a well-kept secret.   

Saturday, 7 January 2012

MixtaBishi & MoFolactic Remix Bikram's Electro Love Boliyan

MixtaBishi & MoFolactic, the remix duo from Australia, have mashed up Bikram Singh's Electro Love Boliyan with Rihanna's We Found Love. I love Bikram's ELB, which was brilliantly produced by Ranbir S and was worried that a remix would destroy the song. But thankfully the duo proved me wrong and blended the best elements of both songs with great skill. This mashup is a great track which will sound awesome on a night out. This version of Electro Love Boliyan is available as a free download via soundcloud or MixtaBishi & MoFolactic's facebook page so get it now and play it so the neighbours can hear it! 

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Nitin Sawhney Spins the Globe on BBC Radio

Nitin Sawhney, who has worked with a wide range of artists including dancer Akram Khan and Paul Mc Cartney, will present a new show on BBC Radio 2 called Nitin Sawhney Spins the Globe. The programme will showcase music from a  variety of artists from all around the world and all of the tracks have been chosen by Nitin himself. There will be four weekly episodes and series on 5th Jaurary at 11pm. Make sure you tune in or listen again.

You can listen to Nitin talking about his new show here.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Desi Beats on Radio 1 at 7pm Tonight

Nihal's Desi Beats show on BBC Radio 1 show will go out at 7pm tonight instead of its usual time of midnight. Even though I can still listen to the show any time I want, live radio has something special that the iplayer can never recreate. I loved listening to the show when it was at 9pm back in 2006 and I hope Radio 1's audience appreciate all the great music at a time when they are awake enough to listen to it.

Bikram Singh - Bik.I.am Review

Album titles are important. They represent the songs in an album and suggest the themes that they contain. Although it sounds like the name of a certain singer, Bik.I.am is a nice title. I think the letter “I” in the title should represent identity, innovation and independence. The album has 14 tracks. Nine of the songs are produced by Tigerstyle and have the duo’s instantly recognisable beats. The remaining five are collaborations with other producers. These collaborations show that Bikram is prepared to take risks, explore new ideas and develop as a solo artist outside the successful Bikram - Tigerstyle marriage.

The album opens with 2 singles that Bikram has previously released: Kinna Sohna Munda, which I blogged about here, and Beyonce. Listeners expected a traditional bhangra track but Beyonce sounded very different to everything Bikram had previously released. Beyonce makes more sense musically when listened to as part of the album as it blends in with the other fusion tracks.

Electro Love Boliyan
is a modern twist on a traditional style of song. This is my favourite out of the more experimental songs and I‘m pleased that it is has it’s own video and single release. The production by Ranbir S is brilliant and manages to maintain a good balance between Bikram’s vocals and fancy effects underneath. Just for a Dance has a few Arabic samples in it as well as some more modern beats. The overall effect is nice, even if the lyrics don’t quite make sense and Bikram is sidelined by guest vocalists.