Back Unda Da Influence confirms Dr Zeus as one of the UK's foremost bhangra producers.
Jaspreet Pandohar 2008-01-17
Having been studio-bound for over a year, Birmingham based DJ/producer, Dr. Zeus, returns with Back Unda Da Influence. Introducing a whole host of new singers such as Little Fox, Yana Gupta, Ravindra and Karamel, the latest offering has a distinctly desi flavour compared to the Brit Asian bhangra mixes he is best known for.
Another significant difference is his new affiliation with Punjabi singing sensation, G Sharmilla, who replaces Dr Zeus’s old partner, Lehmber Hussanpuri. Every bit as superb as Hussanpuri, Sharmilla delivers a top rate vocal performance, and helps Zeus produce three of the biggest tracks of the album, if not the year.
Assi Haan Punjabi is a rebel cry uniting Punjabis all over the globe, while Sat Sri Akaal has all the magic ingredients of a bhangra dance floor classic. Not one to leave his sense of humour outside the studio, the catchy Gadiyan sees Zeus takes a cheeky pop at women drivers literally driving men to distraction.
Turning the volume and pace down, Zeus gets mellow with Aag Ka Daria and Na Koi Khayal, which feature the talents of Bollywood Item Girl-turned-singer, Yana Gupta, and Shortie Aka Little Lox. A surprisingly sexy combo, Yana's sultry tones and Shortie’s Ludacris style of rapping blend to provide a late night vibe.
Veering away from the archetypal Punjabi sound, Rim Jhim sees Zeus experiment with the strong Pakistani sounding vocals of Baljinder Sahota, reminiscent of the late great Noor Jehan. A ballad of sorts, both this and Adhi Holi Mar reflect the essence of the homeland which inspires Zeus. His subtle use of the sarod, tumbhi and other Indian string instruments is another indicator of his ability to make music that's simultaneously strong and delicate.
Not fully cutting his ties with Lehmber Hussanpuri - fondly credited on the CD cover as Lamb Burger Hussanpuri - Zeus brings in his old pal to chak de phattey in Mitran Di Jaan, a thumbing track which has classic British bhangra written all over it.
With only a couple of dud tunes amongst the dozen, Back Unda Da Influence confirms Dr Zeus as one of the UK's foremost bhangra producers alongside fellow Birmingham bad boys, Sukshinder Shinda and Bally Sagoo. Maybe it's something in the Midlands water!