Known for his abilities to put the right beats behind the right singers
Jerome Blakeney 2009
Wolverhampton's Panjabi By Nature (PBN) has been around long enough now to at least have half-earned the title, 'The Hit Maker'. This fourth solo album from the Bhangra producer may not take many risks but it's a surefire bet that a large amount of its tracks are going to be blasting a dancefloor near you very soon.
Known for his abilities to put the right beats behind the right singers, Homegrown shows him working with the usual cream of vocalists. Highlights include Miss Pooja's exhortations on the hit, Aashiq, and it's always nice to see mentor Apache Indian making an MC appearance as he does here the co-written Sohni Lagdi (where PBN makes a fine job of singing himself).
There are pitfalls. His choice of synth pads and sounds can be a little too retro in places, making a track like Vas Challeh (featuring Jaswant Nagina) sound a little too machine-like and processed. He's at his best when he gets enough of the old school instrumentation into the mix as on the cracking opener, Dancefloor, where Dippa Dosanjh really lets rip, or on the far more traditional Bhangra vibes of Jagoo or Saddi Gal.
But it's rare that PBN strays too far from what he knows the crowds want and what gets them shaking. If there's one serious mistake it's on the coffee table fusion of Naa Reh Naa where Sameeera's vocals have to compete with some truly cheesy string sounds and early 90s style dance grooves. Otherwise, despite the relentless invariability of the bpms (probably designed to make the DJs job easier), this is a reliable bag of Bhangra 'n' beats. Maybe he really is earning that title after all.