Man like A.S. Kang
@Article by Nandeep Singh
This week’s flashback Friday features a man whose name is synonymous with bhangra, an absolute legend. He has been churning out hits since 1975. His career can be split into two innings, and both were hugely successful. Lets face it,if you was to go to a Panjabi party and they did not play at least one version of A .S. Kang’s boliyan, then I’d be having words with the DJ if I were you.
The connoisseurs and oldies amongst us will recall the first innings for mammoth tracks like “Gidheyan di rani”, “Ashiq tera”, and “Lutt ke legayi” to name a few. The impact he had on the scene can never be underestimated, and he has had a great influence on Bhangra artists for generations to come. “Gidehyan di rani” was remixed later by PMC for his Mirza2 EP, “Ashiq tera” was covered by Sardara Gill on Amarjit Sidhu’s Kamlee 3 album, “Lutt ke legayi” although not directly covered was used as the melody for Azaad’s “Dil mera legayi” from drum’n’dhol and Anakhi’s “Gidhe vich” from “Total Anakhi”. More recently you may have heard “Saari umar” from the Tru Skool and Kaos productions “In Tha House” album.
After a hiatus of a few years Roma Music Bank headed by Pritpal Jhutti re introduced A.S. Kang to the bhangra masses with “Flashback” in 1993. It was a master stroke by Roma, and added another feather to their cap. The Roma Empire had already the likes of Safri boys signed up, and were responsible for introducing the likes of Death Jamm productions and Skillz Inc, and we should also mention Amarjit Sidhus very successful kamlee franchise. So, anyway back to the Kangster, a whole new generation of bhangra fans were now exposed to the genius thanks to the album called “flashback” which was a vital component in bringing back boliyan with a big almighty bang. The traditional sounds of the saranghi and algozey were back and the fans loved it.
This week we are reviewing the Jawani album which released in 1995 on the Roma Music Bank, and came a year later after Flashback. The 7 track album had music produced by A.S. Kang’s son Mashinder Singh Kang and Sukhshinder Singh Shinda, who both had worked together for flashback too. Shinda’s reputation was growing fast thanks to his work on albums such as this, and you could tell he was destined to be the music man.
Just like flashback, Jawani opens with boliyan, and the tune for the first tappa is very similar. Other memorable snippets from the boliyan include “pinky from Southall”, “motti ji khaalo horh roti ji”, and “I love my love love sanu karda si”. It’s seven and a half minutes of boliyan heaven for sure. Kang is on top form and this is his forte.
Track 2 is “Punjabi Munde” which is a track about having a little more drink. Once again it’s a cracking track musically and vocally, watch out for the algozey and harmonium between verses.
Nachia karo is the last track on side A, and is a slightly up tempo track with a cheeky sample of General Levy’s “wicked wicked Jungle is massive” snuck in there between verses. Another good solid track vocally.
Not content with giving you one set of Boliyan, Kang delivers “Desi Boliyan” and in the opening moments we get a mai mohnu skit for good measure. Highlights from the boliyan include “Kand uttey rakh camera photo khichni gawandne teri”, “Bahmani ne Jatt taah leya”, and “Menu viyaah do daddyji, hun meh mummy jidhi hoyee”. If these boliyan don’t get you dancing then nothing will. It’s a shorter track than the first boliyan, as it runs for five minutes. You just wish it went on for longer.
The second track on side B is “Mela”, which is as song about how life is short and “Raunak” is temporary, so we should enjoy the time here.
Kang goes in full dukhi mode for “Doli da geet” which as you can tell from the title is a track about when a bride leaves her parent’s house in the doli after marriage. The words capture the emotions of that precise time excellently, and Kang sings it perfectly and the tone is what is required for such a song. You can just see this track being used by desi video men when editing wedding movies for the “departure of doli” scene.
The album closes off with “Raj ke peen deo” which uplifts the mood from the previous track, and as the title suggests, this track is all about the alcohol. Once again you can’t fault Kang’s vocals or the music.
Kang proved with this album that flashback was no fluke or a flash in the pan. He was back and was here to stay. His second innings would see almost every album contain at least one boli if not two. Albums such as “kang-fu”, “The untouchable”, and “Eternity” were lapped up by the listeners. Legend pretty much sums up the man that bought back boliyan into fashion.