PMC – 100% Proof
Friday Flashback by @Nandeep Singh:
This week’s Friday Flashback features an artist who successfully took bhangra to the mainstream, who refused to “sell out” for radio plays. An artist who started off on the underground scene before being signed up to the new at the time label – Nachural Records. I was spoilt for choice as to which of his albums would be featuring in this article (Daily Ent. Xpress and myself have agreed to limit it to one album per article). Although many people will immediately opt for Legalised due to the success of Mundeyan to Bachke – which is a very good shout, I’ve gone for 100% proof which just edged grass roots for me personally.
As I said I could have quite easily picked any of those 3 monster albums, but alas, this is the one I’ve picked. PMC debuted on Nachural Records with Souled Out in 1993, and followed it up with Another Sell Out in 1994. Those 2 albums were an opportunity for PMC to remix songs from artists who were part of the Nachural stable (The likes of Achanak, Anakhi, and Avtar Maniac amongst others).
So imagine the shock when this rocketed out of the blue, 100% proof, was born. What were people expecting? more of the same to be honest, no one was expecting this, and I am including labels as well as the music loving public. What PMC delivered was totally unexpected, this was an album that set a new bench mark for producers in the industry.
PMC managed to secure the vocals of some great artists from Panjab for this album –Manak, Sadiq, and Ranjit Kaur. He remixed their classic songs and fused them with the influences of Hip Hop and Rap music do give the album the authentic PMC feel that we all loved. This album introduced a new generation of UK listeners to the likes of Manak and Sadiq, who may not have been previously exposed to any of their work. So let’s check out the album which released in 1995. I recall being at Uni at the time this released, so used my grant money and missed out on almost 3 pints of Kronenbourg at the student union to buy this masterclass. Well worth it, as I’m sure it was watered down! Unlike this Album which was genuinely 100% proof.
If you were around for the days of Limelight’s (Hot n Spicy) this was that venues soundtrack for many!
Track 1 – Sarwan Phuter
The album kicks off with the Kuldeep Manak classic Sarwan Puttar.
The song tells the story of Sarwan who served his blind and ageing parents with devotion. He carried them by placing each of them in a basket which were then tied to a bamboo pole. Sarvan was one day fetching some water for his parents when Dashratha (who was a prince at the time, but would later become King and father of Rama) accidentally killed him whilst hunting. Sarvan asked Dashratha to take the water to his parents, Dashratha obliged however Sarvans parents upon hearing the news of his death cursed Dashratha that he too would experience the pain of losing a son. So you know when you parents cuss you for not doing as they say, they will sometimes come up with “Leh tu Sarwan putt nai ban sakda”, you now know where that comes from.
Anyways let’s get back to the music and put the history lesson on the back burner. PMC in his previous releases had always used Hip Hop, Rap and Soul to fuse with bhangra, and this track has the same ingredients, but this time he has the vocals of the king of Punjabi folk providing the vocal ammunition. It’s a banging track with beats to make your head nod.
Track 2 – Jogi
The second track starts with an intro taken from Onyx – bring em out dead. Then its booom – Sadiq and Ranjit Kaur mesmerize us with “Jogi”. The tumbi playing throughout the track is awesome. This track was recorded live at the Jungle Bass club in Tokyo back in 94. This is one amazing track the way PMC has fused the two genres is magical. I must say this is one of my favourite PMC tracks of all time. PMC did later release this track as a single for the mainstream.
Track 3 Lambrah di Noh
Lambrah di Noh is next up, but the vocals are not by A S Kang as we’d expect, its Avtar Maniac on duty here. The track starts off slowly almost like a reggae track but then speeds up with a jungle flavour. Theres a sprinkling of Dawn Penns “No no no” throughout the track too, and it finishes off with “all over me Babylon just all over me” by Barrington Levy. Another polished track with strong vocals.
Track 4 – Ghariya Milla Deh
Kuldeep Manak returns to the fore with Ghariya Milla Deh. Manak is on top form in this track, it’s one of his cult classic tracks. PMC gives the track his treatment and comes up a winner again.
Track 5 – Yaar Mera Chad Giya
Kuldeep Manak features on the next track too – Yaar Mera Chadgeya, PMC uses the Push it along sample from a tribe called quest heavily in this track. It’s another masterpiece by the duo of PMC and Manak. This runs jogi very close as my favourite track on this album.
Track 6 Buzzin
PMC finishes off the album with Buzzin which is a rap track. Certainly another track which highlights the creativity and innovation of PMC. A track that the rap lovers out there will appreciate.
This album opened the doors for so many upcoming artists who continued with using hip hop influences in their music. PMC raised the bar with this release, and the fact that no one expected it just added to the wow factor. People up and down the country were taken aback by this album. Young folk who had not been exposed to the traditional vocals from Panjab now had the opportunity to do so. What an album this was and still is. Surely the desi heads would rank this as one of the best albums of the 90’s for sure. Even today the tracks sound fresh and crisp, I certainly enjoyed listening back to it.