Monday, 30 December 2013

Take Five: Ideas For The Music Industry in 2014

The Desi music industry is often accused of being unoriginal and copying other music styles. Here are five things that I would like to see in 2014.

Acoustic Music

There are many good vocalists working in the industry at the moment. But all too often their vocals are drowned out by samples and producers overusing their special effects. I'd like to see more artists singing a Capella or accompanied by just a few instruments. Two artists who could pull this off are Bikram Singh and Parichay. Both have gorgeous, powerful voices that suit a lack of accompaniment.

Harmony

Vocal harmony is not part of the Indian musical tradition. It's something that Desi music has yet to borrow and I think it could be done well. I would love singers such as Gunjan, Guru, and Mehi to collaborate and produce complex vocal harmonies, preferably unaccompanied. It is hard to do and requires real musical talent

Interesting Videos

Bhangra is notorious for the lack of creativity in videos and from 2013 there are only a few that stick in my mind. A lack of budget is often blamed for the lack of quality, but good videos do not have to be expensive. I'd like to see captivating story lines, surprises and dance moves that rival Strictly Come Dancing. No flashy cars, clubs, alcohol and bored models please! 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Rooh Covers Sheila Ki Jawani



Rooh, a band based in Dubai, have made a cover version of Sheila Ki Jawani. It is a rock version and has a video to go with it.

The track incorporates original English vocals as well as the original Hindi ones. It starts with a melancholy feel and the way the song is turned around to show the male perspective is clever. The concept works and it one of the best cover tracks I have heard this year.

Shot in front of a crumbling building with flash backs from the night before, the video is simple but effective.  I like this more than Katrina's Kaif's attempt at raunchy dance moves.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Bikram Singh - Billo Rani



Bikram Singh is getting ready to release his next single. Billo Rani releases this Thursday and is produced by Sunil Sehgal.

It's instantly recognisable as a Bikram Singh track. Billo Rani is traditional Punjabi song with an electronic edge. The lyrics are catchy with some great vocals from Bikram. Billo Rani should work well on the dancefloor and I can't wait until party season begins to try it out.

There is a video for Billo Rani. It's produced by Paranormal Media and features model-actress Asal Kara. It is shot in New York City and London, which are two of  Bikram's favourite cities.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Last Played: October


A quick look at some of the tracks that have been playing at Sari-Clad Speakers HQ this month.

Annie Khalid feat. Rishi Rich - Tujhe Yaad Kiya



A great tune from Annie Khalid and Rishi Rich with a nice video to match. Not sure about the switch halfway through where the tempo is increased, it's as if they couldn't decide whether to make it a ballad or a dance track, but this is a song I've played quite a few times.





Zeb & Haniya - Aitebar




From the album Chup, Aitebar is cool and understated with a laid back late night jazz feel. The video is brilliant - I like how Zeb & Haniya are in the video but apart from the action. It's great to see some interesting contemporary dance that adds to the storyline.


PropheC - Oh Baby



PropheC has released a new single. Oh Baby is taken from his upcoming album Futureproof and features Sodhivine.

It's different to PropheC's usual slow ballads. Oh Baby is dance orientated but still has some soulful lyrics. There is a substantial bass section which contrasts nicely with PropheC's soft vocals.

The video depicts a high speed chase between two people who have just committed a crime. It would have been nice to see the crime and what was in the bag, but it makes a change from the usual videos. It reminded me of the video for Nindy Kaur's Akhian and I guessed the ending. I liked the shots of PropheC


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Veena Malik - Rum Rum

 
Veena Malik, the model and Big Boss participant, has released a new single. Rum Rum is produced by Ishq Bector and is her second song after her debut single Drama Queen.

In the press release, Veena said "Singing is my passion ... Rum is my second single, it’s fun, flirty and catchy. It’s a song everyone can dance to at parties and get you in the happy zone. Ishq has done a great job on the music." My opinion is different. Rum Rum is forgettable, full of beats I've heard before and Veena's vocals are too harsh. The song failed to get me in the happy zone and I'd leave the dance floor if it was played at a party. More Run Run, not Rum Rum!
 
The video is worse than the song. It has an odd storyline along with some dancing and a few long lingering shots of Veena. Veena and her friends play a game which is a combination of truth or dare and spin the bottle, but with out the dares or the kissing. They use a rum bottle with a scary face which has the power to decide if the player really is telling the truth. Don't think it will catch on any time soon.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Alaa Wardi and Peter Hollens Cover Jai Ho


Alaa Wardi and Peter Hollens have teamed up to make a cover version of Jai Ho from the film Slumdog Millionaire. This is an a capella version and uses no additional instruments, just the musicians' voices.

Jai Ho is a Bollywood song that I have heard far too many times. But this new version puts some life back into the track. This is far better than the awful Pussycat Dolls' version. 

Despite living many miles and continents apart, both artists appear in the video. I like the special effects with their heads and striped tops during the song.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Punjabi Songs in English - Beware of the Peacock


Panjabi MC's Mundiya To Bach Ke is a song that non-Punjabi speakers always ask me to translate. Now I can point them to this video by the Desi Comedy channel on youtube.

Beware of the Peacock is a translation of three famous bhangra tracks: Mundiya To Bach Ke, Morni and Imran Khan's Amplifier. The English versions highlight how the lyrics don't really make any sense. The humour isn't just limited to the musicians - watch out for some jokes from the audience too!

Monday, 30 September 2013

Last Played: September

A selection of the tracks that have been playing at Sari-Clad Speakers HQ this month.

Delhi 2 Dublin - The Answer



Delhi 2 Dublin were the best live act I saw this summer. They were so good, I saw them twice on their tour of the UK last month. From the album Planet Electric, The Answer is one of my favourite songs by the band and I was pleased to see it in their live set.


Sunday, 29 September 2013

Tigerstyle - Zulfaan De Naag




Tigerstyle have released the fifth single from their award nominated album Digi-Bhang. Zulfaan De Naag features the vocals of Kaur B and has four official remixes.

This song was one of my favourite tracks from the album. Zulfaan De Naag is commercial, catchy and girly. Kaur B's vocals are brilliant and there is a good amount of bass.

Four producers have remixed the song each bringing their own style to Zulfaan De Naag. There is a dark and slightly sinister element in Talal Qureshi's mix that is effective. The Monstaboy remix is glamorous and is well suited to the dance floor. G-ta's remix is full of glittery bass which keeps the girly theme despite the heavy dubstep. The Wobble Maharajas remix has a nicely contrasting middle section. The remixes of each Digi-Bhang single have been something extra to look forward to and this is my favourite set of remixes.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Hunterz Ishers & Vee - Girlfried



Hunterz, who once made a track with reggae band UB40, has released a track in collaboration with his brothers Ishers and Vee. Girlfriend is the first song taken from Ishers's first album.

The song is laid back and catchy. I like it when a track has lyrics that are easy to sing along to and remember. But it seems like the guys ran out of ideas when writing lyrics for Girlfriend. The phrase "you can be my girlfriend" is sung or said a total of 28 times. For a song that is barely three and a half minutes long that is far too many time to repeat the same phrase over and over again.

The video is simple. It's set in a dark empty warehouse with lots of dancers. There is a nice end shot of the three brothers, who look very alike, standing in the same pose wearing matching sunglasses.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Jassi Sidhu Shakes Hips with Superwoman



Jassi Sidhu, the former lead singer of B21 who wants to retire in 2016, has released a new single called Hipshaker. It features youtube star Superwoman.

The song is commercial with a party vibe. It is different to what Jassi usually produces and is not the style I would associate with him, but it works. Hipshaker is repetitive, catchy and I look forward to hearing it during what remains of wedding season.

While I like the song, I'm not sure of Superwoman's much hyped debut, as it slows down the momentum of the energetic track. Superwoman's solo verse in the song reminded me of Bollywood tunes which are good but have a section of bad misplaced English rap. Hipshaker is short, just three and a half minutes, far too short for vocals from a guest artist.

Like many other bhangra videos, Hipshaker is set at a party in a club. However, unlike other bhangra videos, this club is classy and the dancers have some serious moves. I particularly liked the colourful padded cell that Jassi shares with one dancer. 

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Interview with Delhi 2 Dublin in Bristol

 
Delhi 2 Dublin are a band from Vancouver Canada who mix Celtic music with the sounds of India. They are known for getting everyone dancing during their live shows and even they crowd surfed at a gig in a canoe! I caught up with them when they played at the Trinity Arts Centre in Bristol.   

Why Delhi 2 Dublin, Why not Cork 2 Calcutta or Limerick to Lucknow?
Tarun: It started off as Bombay to Belfast. But we looked at the poster with the presenter of the show and the organiser who was funding the first Delhi 2 Dublin show and saw “Bomb” and “Belfast” put together in big writing. We decided that it was probably a bad idea as at the time the situation was a bit sensitive.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Sanjay:
Indian Irish electronic reggae dub music… It's all rock and roll!

Your music doesn’t fit neatly into one genre. What are the advantages of being genreless?
S:
You are able to do a lot more without anyone questioning it so we play folk festivals, electronic festivals, Indian melas and corporate events.
T: Kids’ birthday parties! That would be fun!
S: It’s so wide, you can't do that with every single band. We can represent cultural events like Canada day. We did Canada day when William and Kate were there. We get to do that stuff whereas certain bands don’t fit that or certain electronic bands don’t get that opportunity, so that's the best part.
Ravi: We met Will and Kate!
T:Will was totally into it! He was like, what’s up homies!
S: We called him Bill.
T: Billy Dawg! 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Delhi 2 Dublin Make The UK Dance


Delhi 2 Dublin, the Celtic bhangra dance band from Canada, is currently on a UK tour. Seeing them perform live has been on my to do list for years and last weekend I was lucky enough to go to two of their gigs in Bristol and Devizes.

Compared to other artists I have seen live, there were a few things that D2D do differently. Fun audience participation, cute choreographed routines and an unmatched ability to get everyone moving, no matter what their age or ethnicity. It was amazing to see people who had never even heard of Delhi 2 Dublin surrender to the music and dance with the inhibition of a drunken uncle at a wedding.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Bobby B, Chamkat Khatra & Desi Boome - Boli


Bobby B, a producer based in Denmark, has released a new single. Boli features Chamkat Khatra and Parisian rapper Desi Boome. 

The song has a summery feel with a nice brass sample. Boli is catchy with a house vibe that is more suited to the shores of Ibiza than Scandinavia. The lyrics are traditional Punjabi and very similar to those in Jeeti's Electro Nach. The track is well put together with strong vocals from both Desi Boome and Chamkat Khatra.

Without doubt, Boli is the best Danish - French collaboration of the year!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Krissy & Lady Kash - This Is Love (Desi Remix)



Krissy and Lady Kash, a singer songwriter and a rapper from Singapore, have made a cover version of Will.i.am's This Is Love.

The duo's Desi remix incorporates Tamil lyrics. Thanks to the language change and the lack of male vocalists the track has a different feel to the original. It's more relaxed and romantic. There is a simple video accompanying the song with shots on a beach and a night scene featuring sparklers. 

If you like this interpretation of This Is Love, you can download it from Lady Kash's website.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Last Played: July

A little look at what's been played at Sari-Clad Speakers over the past month.

Chennai Express - Titli 



Apart from this song, the soundtrack for Chennai Express did not make that much of an impression on me. Titli  is light, delicate and summery. The use of Tamil in as well as Hindi adds to the track.

Superjones Remixes Saajna



Superjones, a producer who has worked with DCS and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's vocals, has remixed Saajna  from the film I Me Aur Main.

Instead of making a dubstep remix Superjones has tuned Saajna into a drum and bass track. It's refreshing as most Bollywood remixes these days are dubstep or bad house tracks. It sounds different from the original, especially the middle part of the track, but the song is enhanced and lengthened by Superjones' additions. Falak Shabir's vocals are kept intact and this keeps the atmosphere of the original.  

If you like Superjones' version of Saajna you can download it from his SoundCloud page. 
 

Friday, 26 July 2013

Tigerstyle - Dhi Punjab Di



Tigerstyle have released the fourth single from their album Digi-Bhang. Dhi Punjab Di features the vocals of Jaspinder Narula and has a video set in the Punjab.

Fans of Tigerstyle have complained that the duo's recent tracks are not traditional enough. Dhi Punjab Di will appeal to those who like their bhangra to contain dhol. It's modern, but still firmly rooted in the fields of the Punjab.

Women usually only feature in bhangra tracks as the male singer's object of affection, but this single is different. Dhi Punjab Di is made for women who want to break out of the giddha circle. Only Tigerstyle could add enough bass to match the power of Jaspinder Narula's vocals.

The video is simple, colourful and traditional. There is a magnificent tree with people dancing and swinging under it. Unlike other Punjabi music videos which portray a golden age of Punjab, Dhi Punjab Di is not kitschy or overly nostalgic.
 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Swarathma Celebrate Life After 55



Swarathma, an Indian folk rock band, have released a new single and a video to go with it. Rang Zinda is about 'Bachpan after Pachpan' or childhood after 55 and was a collaboration with students form the National Institute of Design in India.

The video shows a group of elderly people going about their daily activities and having fun. One woman is an elegant dancer and there is one man who has the coolest beard you will ever see. The band also make an appearance towards the end of the video.

The older generation are all too often left out of today's music world. There is the stereotype that all they listen to are old Bolllywood hits and religious songs. But Swarathma have cleverly reminded us that people don't need to be a certain age to appreciate good music.

If you liked the song, it is available as a free download on Swarathma's SoundCloud page.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Jai-Parthiv feat. Priti Menon - Soniye Hiriye


Jai-Parthiv at Studio Unplugged have released a track featuring Priti Menon. Soniye Hiriye is a reworking of Kangna by Dr Zeus and Soniye Hiriye by Shael blended together in one track.
The song is cleverly put together and sounds different from the original versions. Even though lyrics are taken from two songs it works well and does not sound like two separate songs thanks to the unchanging accompaniment. Priti's vocals are brilliant and I like it when a woman sings the grammatical lyrics of a man. 

If you like Soniye Hiriye, you can download it from the Studio Unplugged SoundCloud page.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Take Five: Summer Rave

The sun has finally come to England! Parties and barbeques are being held in every park and garden, often with their own soundtrack. Here are five songs which are perfect to dance around to outside on a warm summer's night.

Rimshox - Alter Ego
The production in this track is so intricate you may want to listen to the track a few times before raving to it. Lovely sunny vibes without being too heavy in bassline.   

Surrinder Rattan, Metz N Trix - Has Has 
This track has been played at many weddings this season and I've seen grannies throwing some interesting shapes to it on the dance floor. Joga Singh's vocals sound brilliant against the club backing and the extended vocal mix is the best. Guaranteed to get the party going.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Talal Qureshi Remixes Rita Morar's Piya



Talal Qureshi, whose music was called the sound of the future by Bobby Friction, has released his version of Rita Morar's Piya on SoundCloud. It's a great remix which keeps Rita's beautiful vocals intact. I liked the atmosphere in the original track and Talal has skillfully retained it. There is something special about this version and I think I like it better than the original.





Last Played: June

Last Played is a new feature on Sari-Clad Speakers. At the end of each month I will be sharing what I've been listening to and highlighting new tracks which I didn't get round to blogging about.

Raj Bains & PBN - Superstar


Despite the average video, this is a song that has grown on me. It has a modern classic feel that reminds of the big bhangra tracks of the 90s. Raj Bains is a talented vocalist and I want to hear more from him. Perfect for playing during this year's wedding season.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Luv Randhawa feat. Bikram Singh and Nick Chowlia - Tohar Vekh Kai



Luv Randhawa has gone international with his latest single. Tohar Vekh Kai features the vocals of Bikram Singh and production from Nick Chowlia. 

This cross border collaboration has modern and more traditional sections. Tohar Vekh Kai paired together two strong vocalists who both sing well. I liked how Luv and Bikram sang together and the vocals were my favourite part of the track. But at times I could barely hear them as their vocals were drowned out by foghorns and other loud instruments.

The video is good. Set in New York it is simple and has a laid back feel. I liked the urban landscape and the instagram like effects. See if you can spot a big blue furry monster about half way through!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

M.I.A - Bring The Noize


M.I.A., who sang with Madonna and Nicky Minaj at last year's Super Bowl, has released a new video. Bring The Noize. It is produced by Switch and Surkin and is taken from her forthcoming album Matangi.

M.I.A.'s videos are always different and complex. Bring The Noize  is packed with religious imagery and opens with a Sikh guy putting on his turban and a flashing Om sign. Some of the religious references are more subtle. Everyone is dressed in white and the etched gold portraits look like they belong in a baroque church. I've been trying to find a link between the religious imagery and the song, but can't think of a clever one. 

The song is typical M.I.A. and is different to the laid back Bad Girls. The beat is catchy and has an urgent tribal feel to it. The lyrics are fast paced and there is so much packed into the track. Towards the end, the song slows down and becomes more contemplative. It's like a built in chill out to recover from the track. Different and effective.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Cornershop Quartet Minus 1 - Kharku



Rudhi Records, a humorous parody bhangra project masterminded by DJ Stin, has launched its very own boy band. The Corner Shop Quartet Minus 1 have launched a teaser of their version of Diljit Dosanjh's Kharku. 

Surprisingly, it's actually quite a good cover version. I like the acapella harmonies, something that is rarely seen in bhangra. DJ Stin's very English pronunciation of the lyrics is hilarious and the corner shop / barbershop reference is clever.  

It's nice to see something original and funny in the bhangra world. I'm curious as to how far DJ Stin will go with this project and what crazy ideas Rudhi Records will come up with next. 

 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Rimshox - Alter Ego



Rimshox has released a new track on his SoundCloud page. Alter Ego is an engaging electronic track with some happy club vibes. It's a mix of styles, a hint of vocals and instruments that work well together. Alter Ego has a sunny feel to to it and it's peppy without being too heavy on the bass. I did think it was a bit short as it ended just as I was properly getting into it, so make sure to use the repeat button!

If you like Alter Ego as much as I do you can download it from Rimshox's SoundCloud page.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Sukhi Dosanjh - Ghagre Dee



Sukhi Dosanjh, a Glaswegian singer who writes his own poetry, is releasing his debut single this week. Ghagre Dee has been produced by Tigerstyle.

It's a traditional bhangra track with plenty of dhol. Ghagre Dee is a party song that should appeal to people of all ages. The lyrics are onomatopoeic and easy to sing along to. I like the timeless feel of the song. Sukhi is working on an album and I look forward to hearing more from him.

Ghagre Dee releases on Soldier Sound Recordings on 20th June.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Middleman, G Deep & Juggy D - De De Gerah

Middleman, who has remixed everything from Jay Sean's 2012 to Diljit Dosanj's Pee Paa, has released a new track. De De Gerah features Juggy D and G Deep.

The single is catchy with some happy summery vibes. There are influences of electronica and house alongside the bhangra. This will work well at parties during the wedding season.

The Punjabi lyrics are traditional and sound familiar and timeless, but there are few English words halfway through the song which sound odd. G Deep and Juggy D work well as vocalists and I like the mix of their voices.

The video hasn't been released yet, but the preview shows the artists in a hipster pad with white washed walls. They are seated on a vintage sofa and an upright bike. It's nice to see bhangra artists somewhere else other than a club, but did they still need to wear their sunglasses?

Monday, 10 June 2013

The BBC Brings Bizet to Bollywood Via Bradford


Last night the city of Bradford was turned into a film set for Bollywood Carmen Live. BBC Three's Bollywood adaptation of Bizet's opera was broadcast live from the centre of Bradford.

It featured well-known faces including Meera Syal, Preeya Khalidas and Abhay Deol. Honey Kalaria did the choreography and taught the 3,000 members of the audience a dance routine. It was an ambitious project and it was nice to see something Bollywood inspired on the TV.

Music is a significant part in opera and Bollywood films. However Bollywood Carmen Live was let down by the music and the songs. Kuljit Bhamra had arranged the music and I was looking forward to Bizet's score fused with Desi beats. Instead there was a mix of contemporary English pop songs, overplayed Bollywood tunes and the desecration of some Bollywood classics.

Songs by Rihanna, Adele and Kesha were used in the retelling of Carmen. Why were they in the show when they have no connection to  Bollywood or Bizet? The title song from Khabi Khabie and Hari Krishna Hari Ram were given English lyrics and the whole effect was cringe worthy. Chammak Challo, Panjabi MC's Mundiya To Bach Ke and the Pussycat Doll's version of Jai Ho were also used. These songs are good, but they are old,  use western vocalists and arguably are not typical Bollywood songs. Mundiya is over 10 years old - it's as if the last decade of bhangra never happened. 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Superjones - Straight Ruffneck


Superjones, a producer who has worked with DCS and remixed Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's vocals, has released a new track. Straight Ruffneck features the vocals of drum and bass duo the Ragga Twins. 

The single is taken from Superjones' upcoming EP Kill The Shadow. Straight Ruffneck is a hard hitting dubstep track with a dark grimy atmosphere. There are some nice contrasts between the vocals and the introduction. According to Superjones a ‘Straight Ruffneck’ "is someone who is not afraid to go against
the norm, be different or challenge authority."

An American born Afgan artist Aman Mojadidi made the artwork for the single. It is part of a project called A Day in the Life of a Jihadi Gangster. I'm surprised it has not yet been featured on one of the many turban based style websites! 

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Rita Morar - Piya



Rita Morar, a singer who has performed at Glastonbury, has released a video for her single Piya. It is her debut solo single and the first music video she has made.

Piya is a simple and effective video. There are shots of London and a the video shows a blossoming love story. The wintry scenes feel out of season now that it is getting warmer, but suit the tone of the track.

The song is atmospheric and shows off Rita's vocals wonderfully. The lyrics are in Hindi and English and compliment each other well. A gorgeous debut from Rita.


Wednesday, 29 May 2013

G-ta - MNK


G-ta, a Dubai based producer who remixed Tigerstyle's Kudi, has released a new track. MNK is a dubstep track with plenty of heavy bass. It has a lovely sitar opening that does not even hint at the drop a few bars later. There are hints of Manak's vocals, the title of the song is Manak's name with the letter A removed, and the track has a wonderfully dark atmosphere.

If you like MNK, you can download from g-ta's SoundCloud page here.


Sunday, 26 May 2013

Aman Khaira Loves An Angry Bird


There are a a few songs about smart phones and now there is a song about the apps that run on them. Aman Khaira has made a song called Angry Bird inspired by the game. 

In the track he tells the girl in his life that she is as cute as an angry bird. The lyrics also make references to other cult smart phone games like Temple Run and Fruit Ninja.

Angry Bird is dire and is the worst song I have heard this year. It shamelessly rips off the Angry Birds theme tune as well as the pig grunts. It's funny on the first listen, but by the second I wanted to rip my ears off. I doubt there are many women who would be flattered if they were told they were as cute as an angry bird.

There is no official video for the song, just a slightly creepy photo of a man gazing lovingly at an angry birds carrier bag! 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Yogesh Kalia Parodies Imran Khan's Satisfya



Earlier this month Imran Khan released his new single Satisfya which has become a hit. The video saw him driving a fast car, sitting on a throne and gazing over the skyline of Dubai.

Yogesh Kalia, who plays Agent Kalia in Humza Arshad's Diary of a Badman, has made a hilarious parody of Imran Khan's Satisfya. Instead of driving a car, he rides a bike and the skyline of Dubai is portrayed by a hand drawn poster.

The lyrics of Satisfya are also parodied successfully. Yogesh keeps the odd mix of Punjabi and English and will bring the daal if the girl brings the naan!

It's great when comedians parody well known music videos. I can think of a few other desi music videos which need sending up. 

Tigerstyle Introduce Digi-Bhang

It's the end of Tigerstyle Week on Sari-Clad Speakers. In this last post celebrating the release of Digi-Bhang, Tigerstyle talk us through seven tracks from the new album. It features some exclusive clips of the songs that have never been heard before! This is the closest you can get to Digi-Bhang without actually listening to it!




Read the review of Digi-Bhang here.

Tigerstyle - Digi-Bhang Review

When Tigerstyle announced the release of their new album five years after Mystics, Martyrs and Maharajahs, no one knew quite what to expect. The singles they released sounded different to the tracks other producers were making. Sari-Clad Speakers was lucky enough to get a copy of this long awaited album and here is a world exclusive pre-release review of Digi-Bhang.

Tigerstyle have a way with bass lines like no other producers. The amount of styles, instruments and beats they pack into their songs is amazing. The production is so intricate that even after several plays of the album I am still picking up new things.

Digi-Bhang is a collection of 11 songs that work independently and are suited to the shuffle function on an MP3 player. If you listen to albums the old fashioned way (one song after the other in the order of the track listing), you may find it too intense as there are no slow songs to provide variation. Tigerstyle make great slow songs and I missed them on this album.

The lyrics on most of the tracks are all sung traditionally in Punjabi, so whatever Tigerstyle do with the accompaniment the song still has a desi feel. However, the bass line and accompaniment to the vocals is where Tigerstyle play around. mix things up and fuse sounds together. It makes it hard to classify the style of each song, especially when it changes halfway through. This is bhangra, but not as you know it.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Tigerstyle - Boss

Tigerstyle are releasing Digi-Bhang next week. A video for the single Boss and four new remixes of the song will also be released on the same day.

Boss is full of drama and atmosphere. It divides into neat sections which mix different styles. There's plenty of dhol, bass and dubstep. RK Mendhi provides some impressive vocals and the lyrics were written by Ranbir Jagatpuri. They appear together again on another Digi-Bhang track.

The remixes are very different from each other and focus on different aspects of the track. All the remixes keep RK Mendhi's vocals which shows how good they are. D-Boy Bawse adds additional vocals alongside RK Mendhi's and the remix works well. Matt the Alien briefly changes the pitch of the vocals and gives the song a laid back feel. Boss is Jakes Hench's second time remixing a Tigerstyle track. His Boss remix is as complex as his remix of Ay-Ha!. With it's eastern vibe and assortment of additional sounds the Caballo remix is my favourite.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Interview With Tigerstyle Part 2






















Read part 1 of the interview here. 
You’ve grown up in Glasgow where the Asian community is small. Has this affected the music you make? Would you have made less radical music had you grown up in the bhangra bubble that is Birmingham?
Raj:I think where we grew up has something to do with it because we weren’t surrounded by pop bhangra when we were younger. We were surrounded by traditional music that our dad or our chacha was listening to. Our older cousins weren’t really into bhangra music. Most of the music that they were listening to was pop, dance, rock. Being bit removed from the hub of the Asian population in Britain has put us in a position where we’ve not got drawn into trends.

Pops:In our school we were the only Punjabi kids. Your friend circle is not just Asian or Punjabi. The influences you get from people around you, the type of music you encountered going out and socialising, isn’t bhangra.

R:When you are in an area where there is a large Asian population, I don’t think you have to develop a strong identity for yourself. Being at schools and universities where there weren't many Asians, meant that we had to be strong in our own personality and our own identity and I think that comes through in our music. The music that we make has its own unique identity in itself. I think that comes from us as people.

There are websites and magazines that wouldn’t write about Desi music which have picked up on the singles. What can fans of other music genres get out of bhangra?

P:We’ve built relationships with DJs and producers from different genres that we follow and we’ve invited them to remix our work. The original tracks that we’ve made borrow different concepts and sounds from these genres. We have DJs from all across the world who are receiving our promos, giving us feedback as well as going out and playing our music. We are trying to get bhangra out there further than where it’s gone before. People that would not necessarily come across bhangra music or listen to it, we are giving them an entry into the scene but in a format that is more accessible.

R:I think dubstep bhangra or more electronic bhangra has its place. It has Punjabi vocals on it but if it was played in the middle of a dance set in the middle of Europe where English isn’t the main language I’m sure most people would appreciate it in exactly the same way they would appreciate a dance track that’s in English.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Interview With Tigerstyle Part 1

Tigerstyle are two brothers from Glasgow who have been making music since the late nineties. They have set up their own record label, recorded a live session for John Peel and even had their song featured on Britain's Got Talent. I caught up with them during the shoot for the Boss video to talk about their new album Digi-Bhang.

How did Digi-Bhang come about?
Raj:Digi-Bhang’s come out of people saying to us that you guys don’t seem to be just like the typical bhangra producers. The sound that you make doesn’t seem to fit the bhangra mould. So maybe the sound that you are coming through with needs to have a different name. Not bhangra it needs to be something else. So Digi-Bhang is an amalgamation of a couple of words. Its taking the concept of digital and electronic music and fusing that with bhangra and we’ve tried to play with a few different words and come up with a few different ideas and "Digi-Bhang" was the most resonant with us.

Pops:We have been trying to evolve the sound that we make. We’ve looked at the other music genres that are from niche backgrounds but can be blended well with bhangra. Like dubstep, electronic dance music, moombaton. The type of sounds that we’ve used are all borrowing ideas and blending them with the Punjabi bhangra music that we make. As a music form, bhangra has its own place in the world. It evolved out of Punjabi folk music to be a British sound but lately we feel that it’s become a copycat sound rather than being something exciting like in the late 80s and early 90s. Each artist or band had a different sound. When the DJs and producers came along, they were creating a sound which was signature to them alone. When you heard a Panjabi MC track or a Bally Sagoo track you knew straight away it was them. That’s the type of artist we have been following and that we have grown up listening to. To be a bhangra artist, to be a  British bhangra artist, we feel that we need to be making a unique sound that represents who we are. It as much British as it is Punjabi.

What was the reason to hand out remixes?
P:The coverage that we were getting from various other websites and DJs. It just clicked that there must be other people that are not from a bhangra background who are not Punjabi people. They don’t go out and DJ to Asian people but they still want to play our sound so it was a risk that we took. It gives us a lot more material to play with. We want our DJ set to be exciting. A lot of the music that is coming out in the scene just sounds the same. It doesn’t excite us enough to want to play that material in our set. If we have tracks of ours that have been remixed in particular genres or styles that we are fond of, then it becomes really exciting for us.

Was there a particular remix that surprised you?

R:For me the WAFA mix of Ay-Ha was really out there and it’s amazing to hear. He hadn’t taken many elements from the song, he’d been inspired by what was there and created something completely fresh, but had the Ay-Ha! shouts and little elements in there that referred back to our track. We follow the producers that have worked on our stuff and it’s exciting for us to hear what they’ve done with it. When we send out the remix parts to these producers we are always checking our emails waiting for someone to send us something because we are that excited about it. 

P:G-ta’s remix of Kudi is so intense. It didn’t have any vocals on it, it was mean. But it had these little elements of what we had put into into Kudi that he had played off and made his own sound.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Behind The Scenes Of Tigerstyle's Boss


It’s Tigerstyle week on Sari-Clad Speakers celebrating the release of Digi-Bhang. To kick it off, here’s an exclusive behind the scenes photo from the Boss video shoot.

The video for Boss is has been made by Mad Tatter Films and is so scary that Brit Asia TV will only air it after 9pm!





















Friday, 10 May 2013

Imran Khan - Satisfya



Imran Khan has released his new single produced by Eren E. Satisfya is his first new material since Unforgettable was released in 2009.

It is instantly recognisable as an Imran Khan track. The song is cinematic and atmospheric. The sound is more mature than his previous work and the bass line is heavy and bouncy. Satisfya is catchy and is a tune to blast out of the car summer.

There are English lyrics mixed in with Punjabi ones, presumably to appeal to a wider  international audience. I prefer it when Imran sings in Punjabi only and it sounded odd when he switched languages every sentence. The lyrics don't always make sense, and words like "worldwide-ah" and "satisfya" are invented, but some of the lyrics in his other songs don't make sense either!

I'm curious what the video will be like. The video for Amplifier was cheeky with an interesting storyline and panoramic shots of Amsterdam. For Satisfya it would be easy to pack a set with models and cars. I hope Imran doesn't do this and can come up with something as original as Amplifier.

Satisfiya is a song that says to the world I've returned. A big welcome back to the ride provider. 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Two Female Singers To Watch

There is a huge lack of female artists in the Desi music industry. Bhangra is dominated by men and there are only few successful female singers based outside the subcontinent.

In the past month a couple female singers have stepped into the limelight to reverse the situation. Shaz, a solicitor, released Tere Liye in April and Sarika Gill released Punjabi Suit last week. 



Both vocalists have experience. Shaz has sung around Scotland and Sarika has released a few singles on a different label. The singers each have their own style and sound different to each other.

Sarika's Punjabi Suit has a traditional feel to it. Her vocals are strong and this is a tune that would work well at a Sangeet. I liked how the dhol player in the video was a woman as it's another industry that is full of men.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Tigerstyle Week On Sari-Clad Speakers


Tigerstyle are all set to release their new album Digi-Bhang and single Boss on the 23rd of May. Sari-Clad Speakers has an exclusive a copy of Digi-Bhang and will be reviewing the album before anyone else!

To celebrate, next week is Tigerstyle Week on Sari-Clad Speakers. From Monday there will be exclusive pictures, interviews with the duo about how they put the album together and snippets from Digi-Bhang that have never been heard before.

This is the closest you can get to Digi-Bhang without actually listening to it. So make sure you log on to Sari-Clad Speakers and follow me on twitter for a whole week of exciting exclusives.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Take Five: Bromances

There are plenty of solo artists and producers working on their own projects in the Desi music industry. Occasionally they team up and make brilliant music together. Today's Take Five celebrates men who have a very special working relationship.

Talvin Singh & Niladri Kumar

These two classically trained fusion artists collaborated on an album called Together. Anyone lucky enough to see Talvin Singh and Niladri Kumar on their tour will remeber the way they interacted with each other on stage. There was a real musical connection between the two which was thrilling to watch.


Bikram Singh & Navdeep - Electro Love Boliyan

Bikram Singh is usually associated with Tigerstyle, but he worked with producer Navdeep early in his career. The few tracks they made together were unique and magical. Navdeep chose to concentrate on medicine rather than music, but got back into the studio to create an understated version of Bikram's Electro Love Boliyan.

Bobby Friction & Nihal

These two didn't make any tracks together, but this bromance did so much for Desi music. Put together by the BBC, Bobby and Nihal presented a pioneering show on Radio 1 together for seven years before hosting their own shows. Nihal still has the slot on Radio 1, but it's not the same without Bobby. The duo also played around the world at festivals and club nights and I've never seen two DJs so in tune with each other.


Jay Sean, Rishi Rich & Juggy D - Dance With You
A combination of producer and two singers each with their own unique style, this bromance appeared on Top Of The Pops. They may have moved onto bigger international projects, but Dance With You was what started it all.

Dhamendra & Amitabh Bachan - Yeh Dosti
No bromance list could be complete without Yeh Dosti from Sholay. The entire blockbuster film celebrated friendship, but this song is the definition of a bromance.

Monday, 29 April 2013

The Bilz and Kashif - My Ride

The Bilz and Kashif have released their new album called The Trinity. To celebrate, they have released a video for My Ride.

The video consists of shots of the group, girls and a white car. Desi music videos are often criticised for having the same unoriginal themes of cars, scantily-clad girls and alcohol. If you sing about cars and girls, then you have a valid excuse to use them in the video. But just having girls hanging around one car occasionally looking into the camera is boring.

The group have made good videos in their career. But for me this one isn’t one of their best. There is no interesting storyline or humour. The monochrome minimalist set was uninspiring and made the car blend into the background. The whole video felt rushed to coincide with the album release and could have been better if they had allowed more time to come up with interesting concepts.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Shweta Subram - Saadi Galli Aaja (Breezer Mix)

 
Shweta Subram, a singer who was born in Dubai and grew up in Canada, has released a cover version of Saadi Galli Aaja from the film Nautanki Saala. The song is a collaboration between Shweta and Jai-Parthiv at Studio Unplugged in Mumbai. 
 
Along with Shweta's wonderful vocals, this Breezer Mix has Sandeep Thakur on violin and Premil Parikh on guitar.The added instruments give the track a soulful kick and complement Shweta's voice. It's not easy to cover a song successfully, especially one that has had so much airplay, but this version works brilliantly. The track takes enough inspiration from the original, but has it's own elements to make it unique and special.

Saadi Galli Aaja (Breezer Mix) can be downloaded from the Studio Unplugged SoundCloud page



Sunday, 14 April 2013

Nindy Kaur Is Doin' It Big With RDB


Nindy Kaur, who used to save up her lunch money to buy bhangra records, has released a version of RDB's We Doin' It Big featuring her vocals. The release is a Vaisakhi present to her fans and the original video has also been edited to include her.

Nindy's vocals are a nice addition to We Doin' It Big and bring a female touch to what was a very male dominated track. The shots of Nindy in the video are recycled from past performances and music videos but I would have liked to see some new footage.
 
Why didn't Nindy feature in the original release of We Doin' It Big? Earlier this year in an interview for Sari-Clad Speakers, Surj said that We Doin' It Big had been composed and recorded with Nindy's vocals. However, she was not available for the video shoot so it was decided to leave Nindy's vocals out of the original track. 

We Doin' It Big feat. Nindy Kaur is available to download for free from the Three Records SoundCloud page.


Monday, 8 April 2013

Superjones - Girls Clap


Superjones, a producer who has worked with DCS and remixed Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's vocals, has released a new track on Sound Cloud. Girls Clap is a mix of dubstep and traditional Punjabi vocals. 

It's a good track with some dark moments, which sounds very different to the teaser. The contrast between the electronic bass and the timeless giddha boliyan is huge but Superjones has made it work. I would have liked an extra verse in the track for some variation. The dubstep in Girls Clap is extreme. Despite the celebratory lyrics, this is not a track to play at a family wedding, unless you want to raise Aunty's blood pressure with all the bass!


Girls Clap is available to download on Superjones' SoundCloud page.  


Saturday, 30 March 2013

Swami - Back It Up Remixes



Swami have released the full seven track digital single of Back It Up. As well as the three mixes of the song that have been released, there are four additional versions of the song.

The DJ Swami remix keeps the bhangra influences of the Desi version. There are some nice dark moments during the track.The Subs Dub It Up version is much more minimalist interpretation of Back It Up. There is a nice acoustic section in the middle and it has a very different feel to the original version.

Both remixes show off a different side to the song and I'm not sure which I like the best. A vocoder mix and an instrumental version of the original song are included in the release.


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Take Five: Cover Versions

Today's Take Five is all about cover versions. It's a huge risk for an artist to remake a song that everyone loves. All too often the new version is not as good as the original. Occasionally, a talented artist will make a cover version that is even better than the original or gives it a whole new meaning. Here are five that will blow you away.

AAG - Bewafa
First produced for the Friction Lab, Aag's version of Imran Khan's Bewafa is phenomenal. The opening of the track is beautiful and the whole song is packed with emotion throughout. For me this is better than the original and has got more plays than Imran Khan's Bewafa.   


Ricky Jatt - Kangna
Dr Zeus' Kangna is a modern classic guaranteed to fill the dance floor. Ricky Jatt has reinterpreted the song and given it a melodic makeover. His vocals are brilliant and soulful. This version has a light summery feel that was never in the club version.

Monday, 25 March 2013

The People's Song - Cornershop on BBC Radio 2

The People's Song, a series on BBC Radio 2, will feature Cornershop in its next episode. Brimful of Asha is the starting point to explore the British-Asian experience in pop.

The People's Song is an aural history of the last seven decades in Britain as told through 50 songs. Previous tracks in the series have included those by The Sex Pistols, The Beatles and David Bowie. As well as exploring other tracks related to the genre, the show features interviews from people who were affected by the song.    

The show airs this Wednesday on BBC Radio 2 at 10pm. A preview clip is on the BBC website.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Guru - Chhad Gayi


A singer songwriter called Guru has released his debut single. Chhad Gayi featured as Nihal's record of the week on Asian Network and there is a nice video to go with the song. 

The video opens with a shot of Guru playing the piano under a tree surrounded by autumn leaves. It tells the story of his relationship with a girl as he busks around London.There are some lovely sweeping arty shots and the video is well put together. Subtle messages tell the story and I had to watch it to pick them all up. I liked the red bus over Tower Bridge and symbolic closing of the piano lid as a sign that the relationship was over.

The song is as good as the video. Chhad Gayi is slow, sad and soulful. It shows off Guru's excellent vocals, which sound mature for someone so young. The song has a haunting quality which matches the scenes in the video.

Overall, this is a lovely debut from a talented singer and I hope to hear more from Guru soon.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

PHS vs Baauer - Harlem Shake It


Harlem Shake is a viral craze that refuses to die. Panjabi Hit Squad have come up with their own take on the phenomenon, but rather than make their own video they have made a mashup. 

PHS have taken Shake It (Gehra De De) from their album World Famous and mixed it with Baauer's Harlem Shake. Only Sani Surinder's vocals are taken from the track and they work well over Baauer's tune.

There have been a few bhangra style Harlem Shake videos, and I'm sure someone will use this version soon.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Jay Sean - Back To Love (Aaja Re) CandleLightMix


Jay Sean, who once said the key to breaking the mainstream was to be ethnically ambiguous, has made a Hindi version of his current single. Back To Love was a collaboration with Jersey Shore's DJ Pauly D and was released back in January.

The second verse of Back To Love (Aaja Re) is in Hindi and it seamlessly blends with the rest of the song. It's not a direct word for word translation, but enhances the sentiment of the English lyrics. The arrangement shows off Jay Sean's vocals and he sings well in another language.

The last time Jay Sean sang in Hindi was back in 2008 when a Hindi version of Ride It featured on the Indian release of My Own Way. I wish Jay Sean would sing in Hindi or even Punjabi more often as it presents another side to the singer. I do wonder if there is a particular reason why Jay Sean has decided to remake a song in Hindi now after so long. Perhaps he wants to reconnect with his Hindi speaking fans?

Monday, 11 March 2013

Naiem Reza - Dancing Petals


Naiem Reza, who also goes by the name Sleepy Z, has released a track featuring three vocalists and a pianist. Dancing Petals features Abhay Jodhpurkar, Raxstar, Shweta Subram all sing a verse each. Raashi Kulkarni finishes off the song with a piano solo. 


The concept of three vocalists on the same track is an interesting concept, especially as their vocals are so different. The idea works well and Dancing Petals has a haunting dream like quality to it. It's a nice debut single and I'd like to hear more from Naiem.

If you like Dancing Petals, it's available for free download on Naiem's SoundCloud page.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Parichay - Kasam Se Acoustic Version


Parichay, the singer who featured alongside RDB and Nindy Kaur on the soundtrack of Chaar Din Ke Chandni, has remade one of his old songs. Kasam Se has been transformed into a live acoustic version. 

It's nice to hear an acoustic song from Parichay. The lack of accompaniment shows off his vocals and there is an orchestral feel to it. It's very different from the original version and the mood of the track has changed completely. I would like to hear more simple acoustic songs like this from Parichay.

If you like this version of Kasam Se, it's available as a free download on Parichay's SoundCloud page.


Monday, 4 March 2013

Mere Dad Ki Maruti Review

Falling in love with a hot girl during the wedding season seems like the  perfect plot line for a Bollywood movie. Lose your Dad’s car during the film and it’s Yash Chopra Films’ version of Dude, Where’s My Car.

As the wedding is set in Chandighar, Mere Dad Ki Maruti has a Punjabi influenced soundtrack. There are some famous names in bhangra providing the vocals including Panjabi MC, Manak E, Yo Yo Honey Singh and Diljit Dosanj. 

Haay is PMC’s big Bollywood debut. Sadly he fails to make much of an impact and I find his vocals stilted and intrusive alongside Manak E’s. The women’s verse halfway through seems out of place and doesn‘t suit the song. Naturally as it’s PMC, there is a tumbi involved which sounds familiar!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Dub Kirtan All Stars - Subsonic Devotion



Dub Kirtan All Stars, a fusion music collective formed by David Starfire and FreQ Nasty, have released an EP. Subsonic Devotion mixes ancient Indian music traditions with the cutting edge musical technology of today. 

There are just three songs on the EP, but all of them make an impact. Subsonic Devotion  is funky, fresh and has some great bass. Brilliant vocals are provided by Arjun Baba and Chaytanya, who sings on two of the three tracks, complimenting the atmospheric beats.

You can download Subsonic Devotion for free from DKAS' bandcamp page.



Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Swami - Back It Up (Nazran Beats Remix)



Swami, whose track Mehbooba featured in a film starring the Olsen twins, have released a remix of their latest single on their website. Nazran Beats has remixed Back It Up which was released last month as a free download. This new version features additional vocals from Lovely Pawar, who trained under Kaka Bhaniawala. 

This remix changes the feel  of Back It Up completely. Lovely's added vocals make the track sound more Punjabi and give it a rustic touch. However, I'm not sure if they blend well enough with Sups' and Liana's. It's a good remix, but the Desi version of Back It Up is still my favourite so far.

The Nazran Beats mix will be released on the full digital single of Back It Up in March. If you can't wait until then, you can download it from Swami's website.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Harlem Shake - The Desi Versions

The Harlem Shake is the youtube sensation of the moment. Using a clip from Harlem Shake by Baauer, a person performs crazy dance moves and then is joined by friends usually wearing funny costumes. It seems like every minute someone uploads their version of the song. There were some great Desi versions of Gangnam Style, and there are some Desi versions of the Harlem Shake emerging. Here is a round up of the best.

The Desi Hype Sarj Step Edit


The Freshie / Bollywood Edition


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Parichay - Meri Only One


Parichay, the Canadian artist who won Zee Tv’s Antakshari at the age of 12, has released a new single. Meri Only One is a romantic track released especially for Valentine's Day.

Meri Only One is a good track. It has some great vocals from Parichay, but the chipmunk effect got a bit annoying after a few listens. I like the mix of languages in the lyrics. If you want to sing along the lyrics are helpfully provided in the description box.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Interview With Surj From RDB


RDB have been part of the music industry since the late nineties. They have founded their own record label, worked with artists including Akshay Kumar and Snoop Dogg and even made their own TV show. The music they make mixes genres and has earned them fans all over the world. I caught up with Surj during a sound check in Dubai to talk about We Doin' It Big, piloting helicopters and starring in Bollywood films.   

You've been in the industry a long time and you released your last album in 2005. What have you learnt since Three?
Learnt a lot to be honest because our last official album was for the UK bhangra market only. I think from there we started doing more of the Bollywood stuff. We have been touring a lot more. We did the Germany tour, that tour was a big thing, the IIFA Awards. I think it's amazing that we haven't officially released our own stuff but used our music to other people's advantages and that has made us bigger than releasing our own stuff. Doesn't actually make sense, but in terms of what we've learnt from it? Oh god, I can't even explain! The Germany tour was a big eye opener, the Snoop deal and was a big deal and the IIFA Awards were big thing and just generally touring across India. I think India is a new market that we weren't really planning to go into it just happened. From there we’ve learnt a lot. 

It’s 10 years since Punjabi MC broke into the UK charts. Back then there were loads of artist saying we're going to break into the mainstream but recently there has been a lot less of that. Why do you think that is?
Because bhangra, Indian music, has its own industry now. I don't think there's a need to bring it into the mainstream into any more because the underground market has become more well known internationally and not just in the UK. India, America, everywhere. Asian music is becoming bigger in its own industry rather than using the mainstream to make it bigger.

Do you think for artists the main stream Indian market is more important than the UK pop charts because it's such big market?
For Asian artists yes it's very important to break into the Indian market. That music generates from there, it’s the original source of our music and I think it's becoming even bigger and better than what it ever used to be. Not just Bollywood, the actual independent music scene is becoming bigger so for artists from wherever, India should definitely be on their list.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

AUM - Eclipse


AUM, a production duo made up of Sanscript and Numatix, have released a track called Eclipse on their SoundCloud page. It's an ambient electro dubstep track with a mix of delicate samples and rich bass.

The overall effect of Eclipse is simply gorgeous. The bass never overpowers the other instruments and the balance is just right. Each section of the track builds on the last and the repetition is soothing. At the end of Eclipse, the track just stops dead and it's a great finish.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

David Starfire - House of Bhangra.


David Starfire, whose grandfather was a famous horn player in New Orleans, has released a new track on his SoundCloud page. House of Bhangra features Afrika Bambaataa, Desert Dwellers and iCatching. It's an funky blend of bhangra, tumbi and dubstep. Plenty of bass pulls all the different styles together.

House of Bhangra appears is from the album Ascend out on the 19th of February. If you can't wait until then, you can download the track from David's SoundCloud page.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Bally Sagoo - Thori Ji Kori



Bally Sagoo, a producer who appeared on Top of The Pops in 1996, is back with a new track. Thori Ji Kori is Bally's first new track since Hanji, which was released in 2004. 

All of Bally's past albums have been innovative and exciting. I've been listening to Thori Ji Kori since its release and I'm disappointed. It's a standard house track that lacks the edge of Bally's previous work. It's good, but I had expected more from a producer who leads where others follow.

There are 3 other versions of Thori Ji Kori. The Bombay Bronx mix features the vocals of Rimi Dhar. Like the original version, it lacks something that makes it a good track. There is also a clean version for listeners who might be offended.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Ravi Shankar On BBC 4

BBC 4 will repeat a documentary about Ravi Shankar, the great sitar player who passed away last December. Ravi Shankar- Between Two Worlds follows the musician over two years in India. It also shows archive footage of him performing across the seven decades of his careers.

The documentary is followed by A Concert For Bangladesh Revisited. This tells the story of a concert that was held at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1971 to raise money for refugees. It was organised by Ravi Shankar and his pupil the Beetle member George Harrison.

Ravi Shankar - Between Two Worlds airs tomorrow at 10pm on BBC 4. A Concert For Bangladesh Revisited starts at 11pm.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Take Five: Wake Up Songs

It's that horrible time of the year. The weather is cold, wet and miserable. Christmas was weeks ago and summer seems months away. Resolutions have been broken and the days feel dark and drab without fairy lights to brighten them up. When the alarm goes off in the morning it's easier to press snooze and stay in bed. Here are five songs to make mornings a little bit easier.

Tigerstyle - Bol Bol Bol

It's impossible to sit still when this song is playing, which makes it a great soundtrack for a morning workout. Even if you just listen to it, you feel like you have burnt calories as it's hard not to feel completely exhausted by the time the track ends. One of the best songs from Mystics, Martyrs and Maharajas.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Original Turbanator

It's not often that one sees a Sikh on prime time television, especially one who coordinates his turbans with the rest of his outfit. So when Gurpreet Singh Sarin appeared on American Idol, Sikhs around the world were thrilled. The self-styled Turbanator is a talented singer. Unlike Param Singh on Take Me Out, he managed to present himself well and came away with his dignity intact. He was instantly put through to the next round by judges Mariah Carey and Keith Urban.


However, Gurpreet isn't the first turban-wearing Sikh to appear on a reality TV show for aspiring singers. Back in 2002 a turbaned man appeared on Popstars: The Rivals, the same show that started the careers of Girls Aloud. He performed a bizzare bhangra version of Holly Valance's Kiss Kiss which left judges Geri Halliwell and Pete Waterman bemused. Unlike Gurpreet, he didn't get through to the next round.

In the days before youtube, twitter and facebook, the clip went viral when people sent it to their friends via email.  The funky caterpillar was attempted on a few dancefloors and I even saw a parody performed at a party.But the clip was quickly forgotten along with One True Voice, the boyband who were created by the show to rival Girls Aloud.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Interview with G-ta in Dubai

G-ta is a producer based in Dubai who has been making music since 2004. Selected as a BBC Friction Introducing artist in 2009, he has since worked with other producers including Tigerstyle, MoFolactic and Janaka Selekta. G-ta kindly met up with me whilst I was in Dubai to talk about the music he makes.

You've done quite a few remixes, everything from Surinder Kaur's Akhiyan to Badmarsh and Shri's Appa. How do you go about remixing a song?
I just listen to a track. If I like it, I experiment with it. I break down the samples first and then try and make the base part first because that's the most important part of the track. Then the rest, everything happens accidentally. Because when you start a track it's one thing and then when you finish it, it's something else.

You live in Dubai. Do you think that has had an impact on how you make music and the music you make?

Nobody knows me here, nobody knows I make music over here. It's a secret! There is all this house Bollywood stuff over here so people don't actually get this whole bass music thing. Hopefully in the future they will but it will take some time. There are a few of my friends starting bass gigs over here.

Tell me the story of how Haa! came about?

MoFolactic heard me on the Bobby Friction show and he wanted to collaborate on a track. He sent me these vocals he recorded 2 years ago and I started just messing around with them. First of all I had to make the bass part, the bassline. I just made a simple drum snare pattern and laid it on that gidhya di rani loop. I just made the basic bass part and sent it over. He liked it and just kept it like that and he finished it.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Nindy Kaur feat. Raftaar - BBM


Nindy Kaur, who used to save up her lunch money to buy Bhangra records, has released her new single. BBM features Raftaar who worked with RDB on We Doin' It Big. 

BlackBerries and iPhones have been mentioned in Bhangra music before, but BBM is the first track which includes a phone in its story line. The lyrics are simple, repetitive and incredibly catchy. BBM should strike a chord with women who have been annoyed by an admirer who just won't get the hint.

Raftaar's performs alongside Nindy and his vocals contrast nicely with hers. They add an extra dimension to the track and I'd like to see Nindy and Raftaar work together again. BBM has a nice mix of styles and a solid bassline that I associate with the RDB sound. It's one of those songs that gets stuck in your head.

RDB's Manj joins his wife Nindy and Raftaar in the video and plays the part of guy who won't stop messaging Nindy. The video is kept relatively simple with a few clever special effects like Manj popping out of a BlackBerry. I liked the big retro speakers.

Overall, some great work from Three Records' leading lady.