Rekha Malhotra
April 14, 2002 7:52 AM   Subscribe

Rekha Malhotra is a New Yorker of South Indian heritage who can be given credit for popularizing Bhangra and promoting the UK Punjabi dub and beat sounds in NYC. She says this about an event she hosts regularly: "Basement Bhangra is very urban. It's Bhangra with a hip-hop sensibility. It's raw and percussive, unadulterated. It's got a lot of meat to it and demands that you dance. It's not head-nodding music—it's body-moving music." More. More. More.
posted by Mo Nickels (10 comments total)
Also, she's featured in a story from the Washington Post about bhangra in general.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:55 AM on April 14, 2002

does anyone have an url for some sample audio? i'm curious, mo.
posted by lescour at 8:33 AM on April 14, 2002

oh this sound veddy veddy good! i like so much.
posted by billybob at 8:47 AM on April 14, 2002

It's all over the place. Try looking for "bhangra" on Audiogalaxy.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:28 AM on April 14, 2002

Billybob: shut up.

If anyone's interested in hearing any of this stuff, just take your favorite music sharing tool, search for "Jugni" (as mentioned in the WaPo piece, that's a much covered song, and the word also turns up in many other song titles) and then search on some of the artists that turn up.

I used to hear a lot of bhangra, back in my college days, and at friends parties, weddings etc. I used to love the stuff, but I'd gotten pretty out of touch with it - so this link prompted an entertaining bit of exploration on AudioGalaxy - so thanks for the link.

Bhangra is also an influence on reggae, though the Indian population in Jamaica, and can be heard fairly clearly in some the more modern reggae rhythms. I'd also be deeply surprised if "Get Ur Freak On" would exist without the influence of both ragga and bhangra.
posted by pascal at 9:58 AM on April 14, 2002

Daler Mehndi's Tunak Tunak is Bhangra pop from India.
posted by riffola at 12:58 PM on April 14, 2002

Any of this stuff spun regularly in NYC? I saw some dates in the articles, but those seemed to be events. Gonna be up there in a week or so and it would be sweet to catch some.
posted by grabbingsand at 9:19 PM on April 14, 2002

I like what I've heard of this style, but... before you can say someone was responsible for popularizing a musical style, wouldn't that style actually have to be, um, popular?
posted by kindall at 9:44 PM on April 14, 2002

Thanks for the links...have been delving into Bhangra myself lately...very helpful!
posted by rushmc at 10:27 PM on April 14, 2002

Bhangra has been a popular and traditional music (and dance?) form in Northern India mainly among Punjabis. What goes under the broad definition of Bhangra pop is fusion of Bhangra with various other music forms including Hip hop. It has been around for quite a while. I thought Bhangra pop was quite popular in UK for some time in the eighties ...
posted by justlooking at 10:29 PM on April 14, 2002

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