I've not done so much MP3 blogging so far, mainly because my physical music collection has no way to get into my computer (it's mostly on vinyl and packed-down CDs). Here, though, is a track I like a lot and that I think never got the attention it deserved when it was released.
British bhangra has seen brighter days. Listen to the top list at the BBC Asian Network and the sound is still pretty much the same as it was ten years ago. Top new artists like Tigerstyle and Diljit are not bad, but hardly groundbreaking, and it almost feels like the stuff from five years ago was more forward-looking. (Here's an interesting exception.) I recently came across (through Stumble upon, strangely) this Tigerstyle mixtape, which actually shows excellent taste and a will to innovate, but even they seem to have trouble finding bhangra material to mix in that's as interesting as the more garagey stuff. Actually, the most innovative Punjabi-language track in the mix ends up being from Bollywood.
Which is why I think J-12 should give Bhangra production another shot. J-12 and his album Born To Nach was an attempt by Garage DJ/Promoter J-Sweet to branch into the Asian market and it apparently bombed and has not been heard from since. For good reason, I guess - it's largely instrumental and fairly experimental, goes off into all sorts of directions and probably is too out-there for the general desi audience.
Plus the most interesting track is in Kannada rather than Punjabi and not bhangra at all. Veera Ha is a brilliant track and way ahead of its time - the first and quite probably the best fusion to date of dubstep and asian dance music. And remember, this is 2004 when these sounds were way more strange sounding than they seem today. Veera Ha was actually deleted on subsequent releases of Born To Nach...
J12 - Veera Ha (Full On Vocal Mix) (Zshare)
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