Seeing as though Bhangra has always tried to copy its hip-hop counterparts, 2007 was the year when the saying ‘Bhangra Is Dead’ was coined. Is Bhangra really dead? Well most of us know it’s not exactly thriving anymore, but instead of me sitting here repeating what others have said throughout the year, I’d thought I would give a little brighter outlook on the industry. Is that even possible you may ask? Well of course it is, that’s the Live music scene.
Bhangra is going through a massive transitional period, a generation has been lost through the DJ culture, and failing to learn instruments has resulted in the inevitable churning out of albums which sound consistently alike. If 2007 has taught the industry anything, it’s the insistence of live music. The better and quality albums of the year have all but come about by MUSCIANS and not PRODUCERS. Of course there are a few anomalies, the likes of Zeus and Punjabi MC are brilliant producers and their ability to pick a beat is outstanding. And no disrespect to the number of producers out there, but you are nowhere near the standards required. Live music will always be the future of Bhangra music, its how it began and how it was able to carve a mass market through its diversity. That diversity is nowhere to be seen today.
A mention to a new live band; Serious 7, these are 7 young individuals who have taken it upon themselves to try and push live music across the scene. Hopefully they will continue into 2008 and well past it!
You can learn cubase for years, however nothing beats the ability to sit down and play a melody yourself using an instrument which you have learnt for years and mastered.
Too many individuals have failed to learn their trade before releasing an album. To anyone thinking of entering the industry, please, go out learn an instrument, learn your trade and master it. Then you will be ready to bring out a product.
In all honesty without me trying to be controversial, I really cannot think of 10 albums worthy of making this top 10, so I will have to make do with 9 this year.
9 – DCS - Desi Culture Shock – After making us all wait almost 8 years DCS returned to bring their first proper album since the fantastic Punjabi Dance Nation, they gave us Desi Culture Shock. It was a massive let down. A two cd album which promised to deliver after all these years and in all honesty it did nothing of the sort. Too many fillers and too many songs which really didnt do anything to justify their place on the album So why is this at NO. 9? I couldnt think of anything else. Click Here For The Album Review
7 – Dalvinder Singh - Udeeka – Probably a suprise entry for many of you out there, but this was one album that really did not get the credit it deserved. Dalvinder has been around the industry for a long time however without really delivering a album to match the early promise. Setting up a live band helped develop his sound and this album proves it. A brilliant album which contains a number of songs which really are very well made. Hopefully Dalvinder will go on to progress even further and keeping the live band aspect firmly in his music!
6 – Sukshinder Shinda Living The Dream - Another year goes by and another release by Sukshinder Shinda. After the massive worldwide sucess of Collaborations, he returned to give us a album which undoubtly destined for the Indian market. Living the Dream has been the biggest seller of the year and you cannot question its sucess, however you can question its quality. For avid Shinda fans much like myself this was a massive let down, bar the brilliant Tara and the dancefloor anthem Chardi Kalla this album really lacks any spark. Take a break, i eagerly await your next album, hopefully in 2009. Click Here For The Album Review
5 – Gupsy Aujla - My Story - Your eyes do no decieve you. Gupsy Aujla has probably got the award for the most improved artist this year. After two average releases he has stepped up and delieverd a really impressive album.Containing a number of tracks which can be classed as Good and in the case of Gabru Gulab Warga; Brilliant. The vocalists used on this album are exceptional, forgetting about the Lehmber remake the vocals of Jaswinder Daghamia and Ravi Duggal alongside appearances by Sudesh Kumari are superb. A really good album by Gupsy Aulja that contains alot of promise for the future! Click Here For The Album Review
4 – Raw As Folk – The first release from Bazaar Records, with the music provided by Tru Skool, its a album which is much less commercialized than Tru Skools previous albums, albeit this is without his partner in crime The Specialist. The album features some heavy bangers in; Bolian, Mukhra Gulab Varga & Gideh Vich. Alongside Hai Meri Maa and the song which caused a massive talkingpoint; Chad Khera Bannieh Da. Whatever you think of Tru Skools singing, it seemed to have worked pretty well and I really dont mind it. A great album and one which definatley does nothing to tarnish the ever growing repuatation of Tru Skool. If your not into your hard hitting bhangra beats then this isn't a album for you. Click Here For The Album Review
3 – Swami - Equalize – After a 4 year wait Swami have returned to give us another shock to our systems. After developing the Desi Rock personna they have once again switched up their style. Equalize is a album no one was expecting, no one except Swami themselves. It is different, very different, but different is good. More geared towards the pop market, it has a number of songs which can be classed as briiliant, but seeing as though this is SimplyBhangra.com for your average bhangra head its a little too much geared towards the pop market. However if you like your music and appreciate good music then this is nothing short of brilliant. Click Here For The Album Review
2 – Mukhtar Sahota - Unpredictable – As the year has gone on, this is the one album which really has grown on me. Mukhtar Sahota is one of the most talented musicians in the industry, so its no suprise when he brings out a album of this quality. Featuring the elegent vocals of Lakhwinder Wadali this album should be a reminder to all those who are looking at any inspiration at learning music. This album has probably been passed by 75% of the normal bhangra fans out there, but if you really appreciate good quality music then go out and buy this album, you will not be dissapointed. Click Here For The Album Review
1 – Zeus - Back Unda Da Influence - The docter is back, and how. After bringing out one of the greatest bhangra albums, he would have a tough task in trying to emulate that sucess. Bringing out a good album is hard, following it up is even harder. As mentioned in my review this album goes to show why Zeus is most definately the real deal, just in case anyone doubted him. Bar the album title there is nothing in this album to make you think of Unda Da Influence. A album that featured some heavy traditional tracks such as 'Gadiyan', 'Akh Da Nishana' and the fantastic 'Sat Sri Akal'. He has had his critics in the past, but after a long 4 year wait some may have expected more, of course after Unda Da Influence there was no way Zeus would be able to meet the expectations, it would be impossible. For those feeling let down by this album, just look back at the long list of artists who bring out a good album and then fail to follow it up. To the producers out there, there is no written rule in our industry stating that you have to bring out a album every year, take your time, perfect your sound! Who needs Lehmber? Click Here For The Album Review