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You are here > 1Xtra message boards > Desi Beats > Swami Album Review


Swami Album Review

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Message 1 - posted by Bobby Friction (U1953279) , Apr 11, 2007

Hello....sorry to start a new thread when I could have put this under the other one - but I want as many people as possible to read go's:-


I heard the album in a Pub car park, in Handsworth, on my cars soundsystem (Always a good look!!) and was completely blown away.

I canít remember names of tracks but hereís a run down of what I can remember.

First 3 - 4 tracks all produced and mixed down with alarming rumbling bass lines and hardcore Punjabi vocals all over..BUT, unlike Desi Rock the album these were proper songs as opposed to 'club' tracks. Also, dare I say it; compared to previous Diamond work (from Desi New Skool Beatz onwards) there was a real element of soul in these tracks. Not Soul music, but defo more R&B with a nod towards the female side of the dance floor as well as male. One was Urban R&B with South African vocals, another was Electro House with in yer face filthy chords and distorted B-lines dancing around a Punjabi delivery and the other was (my fav. from a DJ's perspective) a D&B track forged in the belly of a two step Bhangra track with synth chords supplied by Gary Numan!!

After this first 40% of the album it got even more interesting. This was where you could actually hear what Diamonds talked about for so long - i.e. pushing Punjabi Music (especially Bhangra) forward. All the remaining tracks had things happening that dropped my jaw. One track sounded like a Punjabi dance tune but with a chemical brotherís way of warping the melody. I remember even mentioning Hawkwind (HA! put that in Wikipedia ya trainspotters) to Diamond as I heard it, in the sense the melody was like a distorted flute sound from the days of the summer of love. The other track had a B line that just like the more creative outposts of dance music jumped around by its self and was programmed in very left field ways....

..Also remember a pounding low end heavy Punjabi funeral march with French rapping all over it. The tempo and mastering reminded me of Dusted by Leftfield and Roots Manuva on the Rhythm and Stealth Album...

..Then the most unique Punjabi Song Iíve ever heard hit me. Featuring someone called Miss Boo (I think) it came on all Beyonce & Amerie sampling James Brown R&B with hardcore Punjabi vocals all over it. She (singing in English like a New York Diva) and the male Punjabi vocalist go head to head and sing around each other weaving in and out of each other like all the great duets - AND, thereís more Horns, Trumpets and Sax than a Maceo & The Macs tribute band in this track - we are talking the main chorus being led by a horn section, her voice and his 'heckhs' - Damn, there's even a saxophone solo chucked into the mix! After hearing this I was sitting there with my mouth WIDE open.

Phew...To sum up - one third of the album is destined for the dance floor and has more sub bass that desi rock and reminds me in terms of love for the Dance Floor of Desi New Skool Beatz (which changed my life as a DJ in 1998)...and I think will have the same impact - the next third is Songs, Songs and more Diamond has clearly moved into another league from his earlier work - all these tracks would sound just as good on a specialist show, or a mainstream Asian show - and the last third is Diamond actually being as creative as he's been threatening for the last couple of years...Ideas that sound warped on paper sound great on record and its the third of the album I'm most excited about. Oh, and one last thing - EVERY SINGLE track is a Punjabi anthem - so in the midst of all I've written above itís still a Bhangra album through and through.

Bobby Friction.
Ps. Love to Lady RU, Amar and S-Endz who also all do great things on it..x
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Message 2 - posted by !ShaantiLover! (U5831850) , Apr 11, 2007

OMG Thanks Bobby you rock! I am seriously amped to hear this album, it sounds awesome!!! no news on a release date?

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Message 3 - posted by Hoodiez'n'Yoofs (U2395129) , Apr 11, 2007

any idea who the punjabi vocalists are? are they new or well known? e.g any lehmber/kaka/labh janjua/ranjit mani etc?

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Message 4 - posted by Bobby Friction (U1953279) , Apr 11, 2007

as far as I remember they are all us at least.

Diamond talked about working with them in Phagwara (or Fagwara depending on where you come from), Punjab. He said the new talent understood that he wanted new songs thought, and written in different ways - and pointed out that the more established talents dont really understand this.....would love to have been a fly on the wall of that studio in Phagawara while diamond put them through their paces!<laugh>

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Message 5 - posted by Legendary_Prestige (U3352141) , Apr 11, 2007

I'm very excited to hear some news about this album. In my humble opinion, Swami are one of very few groups around that push things forward, as Bobby has said. Desi Rock came out of nowhere to dominate the industry in 2004, and I'm sure they can take things even further with this album.

Very happy to read that Bobby & Nihal both are full of praise regarding the album, I think the scene has been lacking something and from the sounds of it, this album will be something to show the rest of the world what Desi people can really do, and it's about time! Bobby, I think you have made a valid point regarding songs as opposed to just club music, from what you've written it seems that Swami are one of a small minority of asian artists to have mastered the art of actual songwriting.

I await this album with baited breath and look forward to playing it to my non-asian friends (some of them joke about the asian scene and what I listen to because of watered down emulative artists such as Rishi Rich), as I want to be able to dismiss their preconceptions of what Asian music is all about!!

When will you guys be playing the album to us normal folk? :)

P.S I love saxophone solos! ;)

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Message 6 - posted by Trotsky's Assassin (U6611478) , Apr 12, 2007

Has the tracklist or artwork been posted anywhere yet? And what's the album called?

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Message 7 - posted by chazman (U5552935) , Apr 13, 2007

This is defo number 1 on my most anticipated album list of this year!

Whenever Swami drops an album its always a milestone for desi music. He is probably the only consistently progressing producer we have! I dont care what anyone says, he has the vision, the credentials, and the musical talent!

still remember seeing him play this mad guitar solo on the end of "hooked and addicted" at a mela last year, blew my mind.

I honestly can't think of anything else, that might or could be coming out that will be better than this, and that's without having heard any of it.

I can't recall the last time bobby and nihal both wrote such overwhelmingly positive reviews about something, so that's defo a good sign.

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Message 8 - posted by !ShaantiLover! (U5831850) , Apr 15, 2007

trotskys assassin - don't think the name has been announced yet, nothing has been said and no artwork has been posted either yet - we're basically in the dark apart from what bobby n nihal have said!!

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Message 9 - posted by !ShaantiLover! (U5831850) , May 11, 2007

well now we all know the album is called "equalize".

and the plot thickens...

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