In the lead up to our 10th year anniversary, Chakdey.com brings you the DEFINITIVE, and in no particular order, 30 greatest Asian albums you absolutely must hear before you die
Sardara S. Gill & Apna Sangeet – Jam to the Bhangra
It’s 1992 and the UK is gripped by rave culture. Music is being mashed and mixed up like never before. It’s the year of Snap’s “Rhythm is a Dancer” and Shakespeare’s Sister’s “Stay“. It’s also the year of Sardara S. Gill & Apna Sangeet‘s Jam to the Bhangra. Recorded at Planet Studios in Coventry and produced by the mighty Amarjit Sidhu, this is the album that single-handedly re-invented Apna Sangeet and introduced them to a whole new younger audience. The album was also notable for the (temporary) absence of K. S. Bhamrah. From cheeky En Vogue samples to a modern cover of a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan qawwali standard (now badly dated), the release left many of its contemporaries eating its proverbial dust. It was almost impossible to escape “Kamlee Yaar Dhe Kamlee” or “Sajna Veh Sajna” which, in a near impossibility, almost eclipsed the Gurdas Maan version. The album provided the soundtrack to Asian radio shows, day time live events and endless weddings for the better part of the whole year.
21 years on, Chakdey.com asked Sardara S. Gill what the album meant to him and his career:
This album means a lot to me personally as it was my first solo project. Musically it was very different to the previous albums I had worked on as it had a more modern sound which I had not created before.
The initial idea was just to experiment with new sounds that I had not worked with on my previous recordings. During the process of making the album I had absolutely no idea it would be as successful as it turned out to be”
My personal favourite song off the album is “Apna Sangeet Vaje Apna Sangeet”. Despite it becoming the most popular track off the album,initially another track was recorded for the album which I was not too fond so I replaced it with this song at the last minute which turned out to be one of the best decisions of my career!”
Jam to the Bhangra was originally released on Multitone Records. It has since been released digitally by Moviebox, get it online here