Record Label: Centresonic Sounds
Release Date: August 2009
No of Tracks: 10
Plucked out of relative obscurity; Jaswinder Daghamia was first introduced to the Bhangra scene in the summer of 2006 by Gupsy Aujla. The album ‘Aftershock’ saw Jaswinder Daghamia’s debut as a vocalist on a UK Bhangra album, although it is fair to say that the album came and went without creating much of an impact.
But like all true musicians and producers, Gupsy Aujla went away and came back with something bigger, better or in three simple words; Gabru Gulab Warga. The now cult classic propelled Gupsy Aujla & Jaswinder Daghamia as one of the most exciting duos in Bhangra. Alongside Gabru Gulab Warga hit songs such as ‘Pegg’, ‘Put Sardaran Deh’, ‘Meri Kahani’ & ‘Chutki’ all showed versatility in sound rarely seen from Bhangra artists.
2009 finally sees the release of the highly anticipated debut album by Jaswinder Daghamia, titled ‘Yaar Nai Labhde’ produced soley by Gupsy Aujla and priced amazingly at £2.99!
The album kicks off with the title track “Yaar Nai Labhde” with an explosive vocal intro by Jaswinder Daghamia. The heavy guitar riff powers through song and you’re given an instant reminder to just why Jaswinder Daghamia is rapidly growing to become one of biggest vocalists in the Bhangra scene. The catchy melody goes hand in with the superb music laid down by Gupsy Aujla. The chorus drop is one of the best I’ve heard this year, and is just the type of song that is going to do very well on the dancefloor. The lyrical content of this is also very refreshing to hear, I simply cannot stress the importance of lyrics in a good Bhangra song.
“Akh Lardi” is one of those songs were you initially brush off as a cheesy pop number that’s there just to fill up the album, but on a closer inspection, Akh Lardi is a great track. Cheshire Cat makes a comeback to the Bhangra scene, I am usually very critical of Cheshire Cat, but I feel he adds another dimension to the song and fits perfectly with the overall summer vibe. Gupsy Aujla shows another side of his production skills, making perfect use of Spanish guitars whilst showing his ability on the keys. All in all it’s a very catchy track and one not to be overlooked so quickly.
“Punjabi” is one of the rawest tracks on the album, from the powerful lyrics, to the powerful dhol evident throughout. Were Yaar Nai Labhde had great lyrics, Punjabi does feel somewhat ‘been there done there’ but I guess there’s nothing wrong with biging up Punjabis right? But one thing I’m certain of is when the chorus drops on a dancefloor it will wreak havoc.
Remember how Gabru Gulab Warga was the outstanding song of Gupsys previous album? “Kamli” is on that level. Although it’s on the opposite musical spectrum to GGW, Kamli goes a long way in proving why many rate Gupsy Aujla so highly. Will you have heard anything like this in the last 5 years from a Bhangra artist? I doubt it, and I doubt many are capable of it. The beauty of Kamli is that it’s so simple. It doesn’t contain an over-use of instruments, nor any real complex lyrics. But when a song falls into place perfectly you just have to admire it. Let’s hope they don’t do a video to this, because I don’t think any video will be able to do justice to how good this song actually is. But I’ve got a feeling that this song won’t get the appreciation it deserves; cos’ you can’t get pissed and dance to it innit bruv!
Once I find my way past Kamli, I’m met by the explosive “Kudiye Badham Rangiye”, which is the natural successor to Gabru gulab warga. Whilst it does retain the original guitar pieces albeit sped up, Gupsy Aujla has added depth to the chords, extra music pieces meaning that this song is good enough to set itself apart from its predecessor. Jaswinder Daghamia provides another flawless performance. Another brilliant song and up there with Kamli as the best song on the album.
The high level of production continues with “Neendh”, and like everything else before it, it is totally different. The funny thing is, when I’m usually met with an album with the first six songs sounding totally different, the notion of ‘ghost production’ always seems to come up. But Neendh is another example over an ever maturing sound from the duo. It has been superbly produced and I would go as far to say that I’d expect a song of this quality from Sukshinder Shinda. Jaswinder Daghamia again highlights his superb versatility as a vocalist.
“Tere Darshan” sees a return to a traditional Bhangra vibe, with Jaswinder Daghamia providing a typical upbeat performance; musically it’s what is probably closest to a typical ‘Gupsy Aujla’ bhangra song. It’s not up there with the previous 6 songs, but that would be a difficult thing todo, however the catchy hookline means it’s destined for dancefloor success. Another very well made song
The first and only duet of the album features my favourite female vocalist; Sudesh Kumari, who is head and shoulders above Miss Pooja. “Boliyan” . The problem I always have with Boliyan is that due to the sheer number of Boliyan tracks every year, it’s difficult to find any form of originality in both lyrics and melody. And at 6 minutes this song does drag on although the funky beat goes someway in prolonging its lifecycle, Boliyan will always be boliyan.
Percussion heavy “Lohr Kudiye” is the penultimate song and is similar to Tere Darshan with a traditional vibe. The tumbi powerd by Harmesh Meshi (who plays for Sukshinder Shinda) adds a touch of class to an otherwise ordinary song.
The album ends with the mellow “Sardari” which is a pleasent way to end the album off. The backdrop of guitar strings provides the spine of the song which is eloquently sung by Jaswinder Daghamia. Another song that will probably only be appreciated by a limited number of people, merely due to the fact it has no ‘catchy hook’. Great song.
The album itself just reaffirms my belief that Gupsy Aujla as a producer and musician will continue to go from strength to strength, as mentioned above, his progression in sound has been quite remarkable with ‘Kamli’, ‘Kudiye Badham Rangiye’ & ‘Neendh’ all stealing the limelight as three of most original songs of the year, that’s without mentioning the explosive’ Yaar Nai Labdhe’ & ‘Punjabi’. I can say I like 8 songs out of 10, how many albums can you say that about?
Jaswinder Daghamia just highlights his extraordinary vocal ability and this album will no doubt propel him to new found fame, but as history shows there are either two ways a vocalist can go. Stick with the producer who made him (yes producers do make vocalists!) or by going ‘solo’ and singing for anyone who throws a bit of cash.
The worst thing Jaswinder could do now is to do a ‘Lehmber’.
The talking point surrounding this album has been the decision to price the full album at £2.99, which is a quite remarkable price for such a strong album. In all honesty, there are a lot of albums released every year that do not warrant anyone paying £10, but I can easily say ‘Yaar Nai Labhde’ would be worth that. The idea of a record label pricing a full LP at £2.99 just shows exactly what a dire state UK Bhangra is in currently. The most disappointing thing is, people will still download this and for those people who have, you really do not to deserve to listen to Bhangra music if you cannot fork out £2.99 for one of the best albums released this year.
The song Kamli is worth that much alone, you do the math.
Jaswinder Daghamia – Yaar Nai Labhde gets a 8/10