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Swami Equalize Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Swami’s Equalize fuses continent-stretching genres, yet retains a traditional...

Dipps Bhamrah 2007

This album is a featured release on BBC's Asian Network

Innovator, moderniser, visionary…there are many words to describe Swami and his music and all of which apply again to his new album Equalize.

With his electro-fuelled guitars to raging Desi beats, Swami has always produced a sound which is his own but with Equalize he showcases the world of musical possibilities by using the MySpace generation. Many of the artists appearing on the album, including musicians from France and the Zulu of South Africa, were approached by Diamond Duggal (Swami) via their MySpace accounts. This level of collaboration on what is essentially a Bhangra album takes the genre to a new level.

"Hey Hey" ft Romesh Chohan and Boostylez, is an upbeat funky kick off to the Swami musical journey. Although acoustically driven with guitars, brass and drums it still manages to flaunt Punjabi sounds through its vocals and underlying Desi percussion.

"Electro Jugni", possibly the best track on the album, fuses big dhol sounds with solid electro beats, while traditional Punjabi instruments, Tumbi and flute, are given a rare DJ phaser treatment.

From that point on, you’re well and truly into an eclectic musical journey, with little idea of where you’ll be taken next. "Ching" offers a Desi spin on drum 'n' bass, "Break" is a fusion of Samba-Bhangra and dirty hip-hop grooves on "Pushin'", with a unique Punjabi/Zulu/Haitian-born/American rap collaboration.

Swami’s Equalize fuses continent-stretching genres, yet retains a traditional Bhangra sound, resulting in a unique Desi-dancefloor groove. Could it be the Desi album of the year? As it stands, it’s certainly looking that way.

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