November 7 2008
Now many of you are already wondering what 'desi' means but dig the dance. Today's Sound Travels has been all about the Indian subcontinent and the sounds that it has inspired. Being that Diwali was only last week, I thought it only apropos to play something with a sitar or a dhol drum or a soaring quwuali vocal quality to it. And since Indian music has been a the foundation of my music tastes it was easy to snap off a set of music for you all. The chalenge however, was to make it acessible to Western ears yet true to the schools it came from. You be the judge, but I think you'll dig the variety. So here you go...
Sound Travels: Desi Dance Party
1. Ravi Shankar : "Retribution" - Transmigration Macabre ... Perhaps the best known performer of Indian classical music. The guy is classic, and has been the name in Indian music for decades so I tought I'd start the set on a moody and sombre tone with this master of the genre.
2. Amitabh Bachchan : "O Saathi Re" - The Golden Collection ... Amitabh is an Indian film actor. He first gained popularity in the early 1970s and has since become one of the most prominent figures in the history of Indian cinema. Bachchan has won numerous major awards in his career, including three National Film Awards and twelve Filmfare Awards. He holds the record for most number of Best Actor nominations at the Filmfare Awards. In addition to acting, Bachchan has worked as a playback singer, film producer and television presenter, and was an elected member of the Indian Parliament from 1984 to 1987. And in his eary work was quite a singer in Bollywood musicals-- this one jams.
3. Kush Arora : "Boss Strut Dub" - From Brooklyn To SF ... Kush Arora represents the continued and global influence of Indian music working dub and dancehall into their mix of songs that rely heavily on the aspect of the exotic that Indian music can impart. The album is excellent and contains several great cut including the beefed up version of the classic Punjabi Bhangra cut "Mitra De."
4. Dusk + Blackdawn : "Kuri Pataka(The Firecracker Girl)" - Margins Music... Okay, so these guys aren't Indian, or even Asian-- they're Britons who've absorbed the Desi vibe that is now a very real part of mainstream Britain. This cut is bass heavy and really dubstep. But at it's core is some awesome Pakistani vocal work. They also have a rad dubstep blog.
5. Var. : "Mitra De" ... As I was saying earlier, this is a classic bhangra jam, from an album and artist I have little information on but a tremendouly solid example of the sound of bhangra.
6. Kush Arora : "Mitra De" - From Brooklyn To SF ... as I said earlier, beefy.
7. Panjabi MC : "Beware The Boys (Mundian to The Bach Ke)" - Beware ... I'd have to say that this album has done a lot to bring Punjabi music to the forground, showing an easy swing towards hip hop and an apetite for early-80's TV themes. Hotness! This song even won an award for best use of the Knight Rider Theme!
8. Asha Boshle : "Bongo Bongo" - Bollywood Box Set ... Had to to get more music from the Mumbai-based Bollywood industry. An industry bigger in size and scope than even the mighty Hollywood, providing not just films but most of the music made in India. Asha Boshle is one of India's greatest singers whose repertoire touches on nearly every style and a greatway to end the set today with this scorcher.