Sunday, November 02, 2003

Telegraph | Arts

Panjabi Hit Squad's Desi Beats Named Record of the Week by the Telegraph (UK)

The Telegraph (UK) has a nice review in the paper this week of of the Panjabi Hit Squad's Desi Beats album comparing the foursome to Massive Attack and the Specials.

From the article:

"What's so exciting about fusing traditional Asian music and modern idioms such as hip-hop and dancehall reggae is that the resulting concoction is at once utterly contemporary yet timeless. The Asian form bhangra is a rural sound that has developed over hundreds of years, primarily as a means of celebrating the harvest. Along with the other UK Asian artists featured on Desi Beats Volume 1, Panjabi Hit Squad use it to dazzling effect, both as an embellishment and a backbone for music of striking beauty and excitement.

There's a song here, Nahin Jeena by Londoner Rishi Rich, that, despite being sung primarily in Panjabi, is such a brilliant, uplifting piece of pop music that in a just world it would be Number One for months. Elsewhere, the Hit Squad's own Nachle is three minutes of pure drama, a driving rhythmic pulse woven through with impassioned Bollywood declamation.

The Def Jam label may have hedged their bets in releasing this compilation, rather than a proper PHS studio album. But new listeners get a snapshot of this blossoming scene, plus the best of the other worlds with which it works in tandem. For all concerned, it's a winner."


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