Imagine the Punjabi folk songs you know and love – Challa, Heer, Jugni – but in a totally fresh format. Enter Punjabtronix, a live performance by DJ Swami and some of the finest Punjabi musicians, of cutting edge electronic beats fused with and the traditional sounds of the Punjab.
Swami has always drawn on the hybrid nature of his British Asian identity to explore and create new, innovative sounds. Having grown up listening to legendary Punjabi folk artists such as Yamla Dutt, Gurdaas Maan or Kuldeep Manak, he became inspired by the raw energy of Punjabi music. Equally influenced by electronic musicians such as Royksopp, Daft Punk and SBTRKT, Swami has merged these disparate themes, creating an entirely original soundscape.
His live mixing will be accompanied by Punjabi musicians on traditional folk instruments. Instrumentalists include Dheera Singh, one of the most sought after Sarangi players from Punjab, who also plays the dhad (a small hand drum). Naresh Kuki, at the top of his game as a dhol player, will also play Punjabi beats on the dholak. Vijay Jatt, multi-instrumentalist and grandson of the legendary Yamla Jatt, will bring his vast musical experience of playing traditional Punjabi instruments such as the tumbi, algoza and bugchu.
The evening will feature the sights as well as sounds of the Punjab, which projections of animations and images by John Minton, an artist known for his experimental, lo-fi, and hallucinatory style, characterised by grainy textures, a palette of iridescent, glowing hues, and mesmerisingly evocative imagery.
For his part, DJ Swami has received high praise from the British Asian music world. Bobby Friction has called him ‘the future of Asian music’ while Dipps Bhamrah considers him ‘an innovator, moderniser and visionary’. BBC Radio 1’s DJ Nihal has called the show ‘one of the most electrifying performances’ he has ever seen. Don’t miss out!
When: Thursday 20 July 2017, 8pm
Where: Rich Mix, 35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
More info: Rich Mix
By Anjali Khanna.
Posted 16 July 2017
Photo courtesy Rich Mix