Bikram Singh :: Exclusives
As I prepare myself to write a review of Bikram Singh's new Exclusives albums thoughts of innovation swirl in my head; a new breed, the man that is heralded to take Bhangra-Urban fusion to the next level. That's a lot to live up too. I am almost nervous for him as I start to play the album.
As "Hauli Hauli" starts crackling through my headphones another thought surfaces: Tigerstyle have to single-handedly be the most under-rated and under-appreciated producers on the scene today. These guys churn out nothing but hit after hit, and rampant piracy of their songs on the net is a testament to that. The only other guy I know that can see bhangra through the same lens is track two producer Navdeep. The fact that both Tigerstyle and Navdeep look to Bikram for original vocal stylings is the highest compliment, and "Hauli Hauli" is a great mix of Bikram's smooth flowing voice and Tigerstyle's urban groove. Navdeep's production on "Munday Bhangra Paunday" recalls the genuine simplicity of what real music sounds like when vocals are perfectly balanced with sick old school bhangra beats.
"Gidday Vich" offers the listener a breather from the dance floor burners and delivers a steady head bob. This track is well-produced and smooth as silk. Offering a bit of a treat with the mid song reggae breakdown, Bik sounds like he's right at home with the vocal range on this track. So far Exclusives has kept things very consistent with addictive rhythms and melodies.
Absolutely loving the original "Taakre" and then seeing a remix staring at me was hard sell, but the "Bandook Mix" provided by Navdeep not only did the original justice but also took it to another level with a proper mash-up of bhangra and drum & bass. It takes a true producer to take an already hot song and make another equally hot remix.
Another sprinkle of brilliance is "Sajna" with top production by RB-NYC conveying imagery of the musicians recording the track in a large room with the bustle of Mumbai streets outside. I wished Bikram would do more tracks in this vocal range as this is truly a throwback to the old school Bollywood days.
Two bonus tracks by Tigerstyle and a previously unreleased Dido remix by Navdeep close out the cd and are a perfect impetus for doubters to buy the album. Exclusives is a great first step by Bikram, and while the cd is an excellent showcase of his talents it reads more like a collection of songs rather then a cohesive album. This only leaves to the imagination of what the next step for Bikram is, perhaps a larger studio release would prove a more encompassing album. Regardless, Bikram Singh has proven that he's ready and willing to lead in the new world of Bhangra-Urban fusion.
Harsh is a Producer bringing the noise to Baltimore/DC/NYC. Visit Tavia* for more info.]