Some days, I recall the original video that Jus Reign references and just start repeating to myself “BBCAsianNetworkBBCAsianNetworkinnit”. True story. That shit was the funniest takedown of UK bhangra I had ever seen. And yes, a lot of artists didn’t like it (probably because it struck a bit too close to home). Anyway, Jus is back and this time he’s made good on his promise: this is a fully-formed parody song/video and features cameos aplenty. Clearly he’s spent a bit of money here, but it does show how easy it is to deliver a formulaic bhangra track. Even if we did the “Available on iTunes” gag here first, you should still bow to the Canadian master. (Reviewed by Jesal)
Say what you want about PBN but they do consistently deliver dancefloor bangers, and “Phatte Chuk Di” may not be particular subtle – but it’s sure as hell effective. There’s not really much more to add. Just wait til wedding season. (Reviewed by Jesal)
RDB, a group who have contributed much over many years to the music industry, have lost one of their members today as news filters through that Kuly has passed away. Here’s part of the official statement put out by RDB themselves:
“The international music fraternity has faced a saddening loss with Kuly of music band RDB passing away on Monday 22nd May 2012 in Houston, Texas, USA. The popular music group member lost his battle with cancer at the young age of 35 years old. Kuly was diagnosed with a brain tumour in April 2011 and underwent radio & chemotherapy. He was receiving treatment at a specialised clinic in Houston at the time of his death.”
It’s a genuinely sad loss, and our thoughts go out to his family and friends. Rest in peace.
To be perfectly honest, there are so many bhangra releases that it’s easy for a newcomer to fall between the cracks and go unnoticed (unless you’re as bad as Hardee). Prabus should certainly fit into this category, as his debut isn’t heavily marketed, it doesn’t have a glitzy video and he has a limited online presence. However, a few things help: firstly, “Akh De Pateya Nu” has been included on a couple of mixtapes (in fact we only know of it through the “UK Asian Mixtape” that Jesal released earlier this year); secondly, the track is superb. It’s not your typical wedding song, or even an Aman Hayer club banger – it’s just an intelligent, melodic and brilliantly produced song, one that functions on every level. Prabus has gone back to basics (actual instruments, shock horror!), resulting in an almost pure form of bhangra, one that was supposed to have been the natural conclusion to the evolution of the genre, but is more of an unfortunate rarity in today’s nonsensical market. A truly wonderful debut and one to keep an eye on.
Following hot on the heels of another recently impressive bhangra track (“Dupatta”), DJ H follows suit with a relatively straightforward effort, albeit given a welcome and subtle twist. That predominantly comes via some throaty vocals, courtesy of Geeta Zaildar, who sings with a truly visceral, almost gutteral verve on “Billo Nach Nach Ke.” The production is played with a particularly straight bat, however, meaning that the lack of the organic warmth, not to mention the (slightly) underwhelming melody, are lost opportunities to add another dimension. But it doesn’t detract too much from a song that succeeds – mostly, thanks to Zaildar – in what it sets out to achieve: act as an effective and joyful dance number.
It is a fair question to ask why BEE2 and Taj-E hate us. Or music. Either way, it’s a pretty safe bet that they harbour some evil intentions towards mankind. “La Bhangra” is the audio equivalent of that terrible strain of E. coli emanating from German cucumbers. Take some out of tune bhangra, an out of tune rendition of “La Bamba” and mix them together. The ridiculous thing is that this ridiculous idea could have mysteriously worked, but they somehow managed to overthink it. If the good people of Veracruz, Mexico (from where “La Bamba” originated) decided to wage war against Soundpipe Records, we’d happily apply for Mexican citizenship and take up arms on their behalf.
After his debut – surely one of the few genuine true-blue classics of new-millenial Asian music – you wait SEVEN YEARS and this is what turns up. It’s not bad, by any stretch, but it is certainly an inoffensive disappointment that doesn’t compare to his previous dalliances with Mentor. It comes across as somewhat cynical, disingenuous, focus-grouped… These are words that we never used to associate with Juggy. Indeed, it’s the sound of someone that seems exhausted musically, and has probably missed the opportunity to progress artistically, so is basically just now making music to pay the bills.