This edition of Friday flashback showcases a debut ep for a vocalist who was super talented and went on to become immensely popular & renowned for his raw desi vocals. We present Dippa Satrang with the debut EP Bhangra Muffin.
Mick St Clare was a fairly well known DJ producer in the 80’s and 90’s. He launched his own music label – Saint records, and the very first release was this ep by a brand new band.The 1991 EP featured 4 tracks.
EP’s had just started to appear more and more around this time in the Bhangra industry, although punters were left rightly scratching their heads, why? How can an ep with less songs still be priced the same as an album with 8 -10 songs?
Let’s kick off with the first track “Paar nagah de veh”, with Slim providing the vocals. It’s a cover version, and one that Balwinder Safri rose to fame with. However this particular version did not quite have the same effect as Safri’s version which was released earlier. I think this version probably sounded ok at the time, but now you just don’t feel the vocals at all. Musically it’s decent but the vocals let it down, and you can’t but help compare it to Safri’s superior version.
The second track is the Dhola veh Dhola remix featuring the vocals of Dippa Satrang. This is our first glimpse of the vocal talents of Dippa…and wow, you immediately sit up and take note. I think the remix should have featured on side B, and the original version should have appeared on side A. Dippa delivers a very raw and desi vocal for this cover version. You can tell on one listen that this guy was gonna be huge. The question was always gonna be could he break into the Safri and Malkit league, that would depend on the choices of producers he decide to work with no doubt, and making the right career choices with music labels, songs, gigs, live performances etc.
Side B kicks off with the monster Dhola ve Dhola (not remix), and the intro gets you hooked straight away. Dippa’s desi vocals complement the music perfectly. The critics will say it’s only a cover version etc., but kudos to Dippa he carried off this track very well. The track is still played at weddings and parties till date (almost 30 years on) so it’s passed the test of time for sure. There’s also been numerous remixes of the track over the years. I remember DJ’ing at the school lunchtime bhangra disco at the time this ep was released and they all wanted this track, it was hugely popular undoubtedly.
The EP finishes off with Bhangra Muffin with Sasha the 3rdvocalist, the track is fully in English. Not my cup of tea but imsure there was a market for this type of track out there. Don’t think it got played at many parties though.
Dippa’s vocals were the big plus point for this EP, and he would be crucial to the success of this newly formed band. Satrang as a band (Dippa and Slim) released an album called “Never mind the dholaks”, that would be the last we’d hear of Slim as a vocalist. Dippa on the other hand went from strength to strength. There was another EP on Saints records before he moved over to Roma and released albums such as uncovered, dibby dippa style, and reloaded.
He also featured on the Death Jamm series (not the original Death Jamm productions though), Midland Boyz to Men album, Bally Rai’s album, Dj Chino’s album. Dippa sang a huge amount of cover versions throughout his career, and he could easily be dubbed the cover version king, he easily sang Chamkilla, Shinda, Bindrakhia, Gurdas Maan classic’s and was able to leave his individual stamp on those songs.
Saint Records were around for some time, and they were the label that bought us the hugely popular Dhol Blasters series with Winnie from Geet the mega band and Gurcharan Mall. However, they were never able to challenge the likes of Roma, OSA, Nachural who all had a large stable of artists.