Can you believe that it’s been 10 years since SimplyBhangra.com started? What an amazing journey we have had over the last decade. Have a look at the top albums of 2006 below and do leave your comments!
Hype. If there were one word, which I could use to sum up the year of 2006, it would be hype. But its not all that doom & gloom is it?
Well not entirely… we’ve had some massive tunes in this year, namely; Collaborations, Boli Pani, Aish, Ne Baliye, Dhaaru Pee Ke, the list can go on, however are any of these songs better than; Sachian Suniya, Kawan, Main Hoygia Sharabi, Tharthi Hildi etc.
So we all agree 2006 hasn’t’ been too strong for us bhangraholics. But what’s the reason? Ok it’s not a worldwide conspiracy to hate on Bhangra by the illuminati! It could be something to-do with the BPI clamp down in 2005, which has made makeshift producers rethink their ideas.
I’m not going to be the grim reaper of Bhangra, there have been positives and I’ve managed to compile the SimplyBhangra.com top ten albums of the year.
Before I go into that, I will give a special mention to a few albums that won’t make this top ten, not because they are rubbish, but because this top ten is based around Bhangra orientated albums.
The first album is “Rishi Rich – The Project”, it was highly awaited, although some may have been disappointed with it, I though this album had an amazing variety of different sounds and styles. Some big tunes from; Majajneh, Bhaare Bazaar, Teri Masti, Sorry, Stomp etc.
Another album which some people might slag me off for mentioning here is “J Nas (Sanj) – Asian R&B”, ok so it was more ‘hip hop’ than R&B, yet it still gave another side to Sanj, for me ‘Dirty South (Dekhlo Punjabi Munde) will be one of the tunes of the year, Bhangra or not doesn’t matter!
There will be a few notable absentees below, feel free to voice your opinions in below!
10 – Ryan Singh – Dholicious – The debut album from this talented percussionist from Scotland. Kuriye, Nasha Jawani, De, Margaye Kuriye, Bottlan De Dutt, Dil Koke Vich all brilliant songs for me. A great debut, although needs to make sure his style his changed dramatically in the future as VIP are in danger of sounding the same in every release. There were a few releases that could have nicked this spot.
9 – Taj E – Blood, Sweat & Tears – The follow up album to ‘Look Again’ which firmly established Taj E as one of the most talented young producers on the scene. Only released in December, this maybe a surprise entry for a few of you but songs like Gityian and Sajna show Taj e’s class as a producer. A Top album with a high quality line up of new and fresh vocalists, it’s always good to see an album without your usual Bhangra suspects. Make sure you grab a copy; this guys going to be big in the coming years!
8 – Joti Dhillon – Rise Up – Highly anticipated and highly delayed but it finally arrived late 2006. Well all I can say is it’s about time Canada made some real impact on the UK scene. Even after the sad absence of Soni Pabla from the album, this still has enough depth and class to grab the no.8 spot. This album can be described as raw, folk and defiantly funky. The vocalists on this album are as strong as you will get on any album released in 2006. Not your household names, but vocally they kill it. The backing vocals by the late Soni Pabla on some of the songs make a great touch, to a superb album. Canada stand up.
7 – Sukshinder Shinda – Collaborations – Arguably gives us one of the best songs in recent times, Sukshinder Shinda, Gurdas Mann & Abrar Ul Haq all gracing one song.
As an album, it wasn’t all that it was hyped up to be. However songs like Oh Na Kuri Labdi and Shoulder Surf just squeeze collaborations in at no.7. Not a one-track album, more two and half-track album. Nevertheless an essential for your collection.
6 – Lehmber Hussainpuri – Chalakiyan - The first release by Lehmber Hussainpuri under then Serious records banner, with expectations astronomical the end product was slightly under cooked. The album had some great tunes in Chalakiayan and Hauli Nach, but they sounded all too formulaic. However the album did have some good slow songs, which as always Lehmber excels in. For me the highlight of the album was Bishani (Aman Hayer) and Boliyan (Jeeti) everything else was few and far between.
5 – ADH – Never Look Back - So I bet there’s a few people reading this thinking, what the %&£$ he doing at no.5! Well, if you hate his voice then don’t listen, if you don’t mind his voice then your in for a treat, even though it’s only a 8 track album, (I usually have a problem with anything under 10) there’s 7 songs there which are superb.
The production by the Jagpal brothers, N-ZO (Zeus) Groove Productions & Project Asia was defiantly real quality! As I said in my review, being an artist is all about progressing and improving, ADH has certainly done it on Never Look Back, let’s hope he does exactly that after dumping the vocoder!
4 – Notorious Jatt – Livin It Up – When you mention this album, most people will just say Aish, but for me that was just a token dance floor tune, the best songs off this album were, Maarey Dil Vaaliyen, Gabhru Naal Pyar Hoygia, Callage, Babbar Shere. Musically Notorious Jatt has hit all the right notes, the album defiantly has a Punjabi folk feel about it, many have tried to combine the two but most have failed.
An awesome line up of vocalists, Preet Mahadipuria, Parget & Jagdev Khan, Amrita Deepak the list is endless. Livin It Up has most definitely propelled Notorious Jatt as one of the most respected producers in the Bhangra industry.
3 – Manak E – Darr – The only release from Untouchables this year and by far probably there best in the past few years. A 100% improvement from the ‘Paisa’ album, with production by Aman Hayer, RDB, Kam Frantic and the talented young due Sangra Vibes.
So is it really that good? Yes. Tracks 1 to 10 you can press play and there’s no need to forward on any songs. No matter how cheesy “Yeah Yeah” is, it’s still a catchy tune with brilliant vocals by Manak E. Highlight of the album? The three Sangra vibes songs, Boliyan, Aja Mahi, Kan Vich Gal, head and shoulders above the rest. Manak E sounds brilliant on this album, a great listen, and an album, which has a lot of depth. Something that is hard to find in an album these days!
2 – Serious Records - Ne Baliyeh – For me I couldn’t really decide between the no2 & no1 spot. Ne Baliyeh came out early 2006 and was one hell of a album. It contained 10 great Bhangra tracks, something we expect from a album these days. On top of that production by Jeeti, Kam Frantic & Dipps Bhamrah created
10 tracks, which are hard to live up to. Time Das Ja, Patola, Sona Sona, Mul, Pyar, Larey and of course the huge dance floor hit Ne Baliyeh are all top quality tunes. Serious Records are all about putting out quality albums and this is no less. But just doesn’t have that edge to take the No.1 spot this year...
1 – Specialist & Tru Skool – Repazent - Well I think most of you would have guessed this is going to take the top spot, the deadly duo from the midlands follow up Word Is Born with another solid album. Ok so yes it did have reused beats, yes it did have that same Gideyan Di Rani sample BUT the songs still sounded damn good.
Lyrically & Vocally Hak Di Kammai is an awesome tune, deserves all the praise it gets, because they smashed it on that song! But there’s still enough depth on this album to keep you going, Nach Ke, Eshreh, Bhangre’ch, Saukhi Di Kammai, and now already a cult anthem; Dhaaru Pee ke. Yes it’s re-used, but it’s the best that has come out this year…
Maybe that shows how weak 2006 has been? Jaswant Heera, Kulvinder Singh Johal, Kaka Bhainiavaala, Lehmber Hussainpuri, Gurbej Brar – Top class line up!
Nevertheless props to Specialist and Tru Skool!