Various - Bhangra House Xtc

  • Vintage bhangra remixed in fine style by Mr Scruff.
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  • A wave of underground South Asian creatives have worked to unearth buried treasures over the past few years. One of them is Naya Beat, a Los Angeles-based label that's released reissue, remix and compilation projects that shine a light on lost music from the region as well as new takes on classics. Their sixth offering, Bhangra House Xtc, is a pilgrimage to a forgotten era of late '80s and early '90s bhangra—a period influential in redefining the sound and identity of British South Asian culture. Originating from Southall and Birmingham in Britain, bhangra music is associated with the Punjabi diaspora. As communities fused traditional Punjabi folk rhythms with dancehall, reggae and electronic dance music, bhangra's vibrant melodies and energetic beats emerged. Bhangra House Xtc highlights this intricate sonic tapestry, showcasing how the genre was influenced by house, dub and hip-hop. The EP features remixes of older material from legendary Manchester DJ Mr Scruff as well as an original track from Naya Beat label heads Turbotito & Ragz. With its propulsive dhol rhythms, "Ishkaan De Mamle"—taken from the niche 1986 album Holle Holle by Manjeet Kondal and Deepak Khazanchi—is a joyous, ecstatic tune. The Mr Scruff remix adds in skittish snares, and places the dhol drops later on than the original, lending it a vintage acid house feel with a bed of synths that the Manchester artist lays down underneath. "Pyaar," the original song from Turbottito & Ragz, feels more meditative. A playful vocal melody overlaid on top of lean hi-hats and candied keys kick it off, while an assortment of Kondal's vocal stems from Holle Holle are woven into a blissed-out tribute. With the Punjabi vocals, infectious tabla rhythms and woozy synths, "Pyaar" sounds like a freshly-dusted and polished relic from a bygone time. The EP's dub versions are the highlights, reminiscent of second summer of love afternoons with friends by the water, drinks in hand. The late '80s were a time when the sound of underground music—acid house, jungle, drum and bass—pulsated through the veins of bhangra production, shaping its identity for generations to come, and these remixes touch on the distinct feel of that time. Take away the historical context and the EP manages to sustain itself on its ability to skate through sounds without feeling disjointed. Bhangra House Xtc pays homage to a genre crucial in shaping British South Asian identity, and those who bridged the gap between East and West. It's a captivating and infectious display of bhangra’s enduring legacy in shaping cultural identities.
  • Tracklist
      01. Manjeet Kondal - Ishkaan De Mamle (Mr. Scruff Remix) 02. Manjeet Kondal, Turbotito & Ragz - Pyaar 03. Manjeet Kondal - Ishkaan De Mamle (Mr. Scruff Instrumental Dub) 04. Manjeet Kondal, Turbotito & Ragz - Pyaar (Lovey Dubby Dub) 05. Manjeet Kondal, Mr. Scruff - Ishkaan De Mamle (Mr. Scruff Vocal Strip Down)