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Manak-E - Darr (Album Review)

Record Label: UntouchablesUK
Release Date: May 2006
No Of Tracks:

 Manak e – Darr, the first release frrom Untouchablesuk this year, 2005 was a very poor year for them, come to think of it 2004 wasn’t too great either, the downward spiral has been infecting Untouchablesuk for some time now. There last hit album was back when Beckham still played for Man Utd, artists still ripped off blatant samples and zee music box kept playing Khiza’s videos!

So the follow up to ‘Paisa’ which to put it kindly was nothing short of disastrous, can ‘Darr’ do any better? Well Untoucables seemed to have learnt there lesson this time around, by getting the producing skills of much talented Sangra vibes, Aman hayer and Kam Frantic, and of course the RDB boys themselves. Although the credits mention nothing of these artists, before all you Bhangra conspiracy heads start mumbling.. im sure theres a simple explanation to that!

So Manak e – Darr, the hype built up, it got delayed, the hype died down, new tracks were added, the hype once again built up, and finally its out, is the album worth spending your money on? Read on to find out!

 As I press play, im left a little shocked… no intro? This is getting better and better! Maybe some common sense has finally come into play here.

 The infamous Cheshire Cat starts off ‘Yeah Yeah’, can Cheshire Cat  manage to ruin a Bhangra track once again? Well, no, his quite good on this track, which I have no shame in admitting! The tune is one of those when you first listen to it, you brush it off, but about 2minutes into it, you cant stop singing it. The ‘Yeah Yeah’ hook however cheesy is going to drive you mad, guaranteed! The beat is a mixture of a toned down reggeaton beat, mixed with some strings, a dhol, and hay presto you have a hit track! Manak e vocals sound fresh and he once again sounds back to his best, Yeahhhh Yeahhhhhhh, an excellent start, the replay factor is defiantly there with this song.

“Lut Ke Laigee” offers a slow dhol/dholki intro, with Manak e giving an slow winding intro, but a slow song but anything is this! Manak e powers into the chorus, with a typical RDB production behind this (I’m guessing), the vocals of Manak e steal the show on this track, it seems as though RDB have finally managed to bring the best out of him. A simple piano beat is the back drop, with some funky tumbi and vaja intertwined throughout the song. At 5.26, this song isn’t a second too long!

 Here’s the token Boliyan, but with a little twist!, I say little, but trust me it’s a big one! As the intro announces, Manak e has brought along a few of his buddies, Lehmber Hussianpuri (well an untouchable album would not be the same without him!) and Kuldip Paras. Sangra vibes take up the production duties on this one, as they rightfully introduce themselves. The production is typical Sangra vibes, top notch! With the backdrop of an impulsive tumbi and a algozey, Manak e brings in the first chorus, the voice of Lehmber takes the track onto another level! Sounding as good as ever. Kuldip Paras adds a completely different flava, his voice is very distinctive, hopefully we get to hear some more of him! The end of the track is possibly the best bit, Lehmber and Manak e singing after another, acknowledging each other, collaborations seem to be the newest flavour in Bhangra, and I said last time Marrey Dil Vaaliyan was good, well this runs it close!

“Dhol”, as the name suggests is another fast flowing Bhangra track, and kept very desi, which I must admit has so far surprised me, no notices of 2step, garage or hip-hop.
Manak e’s powerful voice has been done perfect justice here. In my opinion, this song is just as good as those before it, just make sure you listen to it! And I must warn those expecting a garage flavour, don’t bother!

 The title track is up next “Darr”, so what is exactly Manak e scared of? ‘Asii Ni Karna Pyar, Sanu Darr Lagda’, well maybe his not just the commitment type! The song once again to my delight is very very desi, dhad, dhol, vaja a perfect blend mixed up with the vocals. If I was to sing this song, my lyrics would be, ‘Asii Ni Karna Pyar, Shittar toh Darr Lagda’, but ill leave that to another time! Another good tune, 5 in a row?!  This album has already passed my expectations.

 A little bit of recycling here, think back to DJ H – Gur nalo, although not to take anything away from  Kushian (Part 2). Produced by the RDB boys, this will fit perfectly in there roadshow, a dancefloor tune, repeatedly saying ‘Everybody on the dancefloor comon’. Again the vocals are very impressive, I’ve never been a great fan of Manak e, but my view of him has been totally transformed! Apart from the little recycling of beats, there is nothing wrong with this song.

 Cheshire cat is back once again, and this tune much like the previous one is for the dancefloor, as the intro suggests! I’m not quite sure of Cheshire cats role on this song, to say he ruins it is a little harsh, but well you know what I mean. “Na Ni Karnee” is ANOTHER big tune on this album, the backing beat has been sampled off Tupac – California love. Lets hope the BPI don’t get a sniff of this track. However the sample has been used creatively and the majority of the song is Manak e’s explosive vocals taking over! 

 Sangra vibes are back with  “Kan Vich Gal”, no introduction needed here for them, the beat is typical Sangra vibes, and sounds very similar to a track off there album (cant remember which one though!?), Manak e once again sounds perfect, no vocoder needed here, or as it put, throughout the album. Enjoy blasting this track!

“Aja Mahi” Sangra vibes make it three hit tracks on this album, the intro flute is almost infectious, as the track powers into the chorus the full blown affect is given. This is or if not close to being the best track on the album. Sangra vibes once again prove why they are one of the most talked about producers in the industry; they have smashed it on this album.

 “Kaun Nachdhi”, does not match up to the standards of the previous track, inevitably there is bound to be some blips somewhere down the line, and this one of them.

 Onto the penultimate track (the outro don’t count), “Ikh Pal”, and much like the previous track it does not really match up to the others on the album, but after a few listens to it I really saw it growing on me, this is a so so track, you either like it or hate it.

 So I thought untouchables had turned a corner here, and then they make Manak e sing a Hindi track “Dil Dewana” ...nooooooooooooo! for a moment I thought my cd was scratched, with Manak e in ‘Tere Pyar me’ over drive. This track is produced by Kam Frantic, which is pretty much obvious, due to the stop start music and the guitar strings. Well I guess they couldn’t resist a Hindi track. Although not to my liking. Keep it desi!


12 tracks, and all I can really say is, go buy it. You’ll love it. The replay factor is really there on this album, it has a lot of depth, tracks like Aja Mahi, Dhol, which are hidden away in the album, should not go undiscovered. In my intro I mentioned Untouchables have not had a decent album since way back in 2003, with Unstoppable. It seems as though the rot has come to an abrupt end. They did the right thing by handing out the production duties to other parties other than RDB, although the tracks produced by RDB on this album are to a high quality, there is a limit to how much they can bring out within a year. Manak e excels on this album, vocally, lyrically; he has come back to his best, after Paisa, which was humiliating to say the least. I can’t big this up anymore really, just make sure you grab your copy and have a listen, and as I said before, don’t expect any mc’s, garage or any of that bakwaas!


Manak e – Darr gets a well deserved



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