Planet Bollywood
Stereo Nation’s “Desi & U Know IT” brings the groove to Indi-Pop!
- Samir Dave           Let us know what you think about this feature article

If you’re Desi and u know it clap your hands! If you’re Desi and u know it and ya really want to show it…Ok, so that’s sort of like a nursery rhyme isn’t it? Well, if you take the classic, “If you’re happy and you know it” and smash it together with LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It”, throw in some patented Desi spice (talking about the spicy bhangra garam masala here), and you have the hit track “Desi and U Know IT” by Stereo Nation (aka TAZ). Yes, TAZ has brought a new album under the Stereo Nation moniker and brings forth another snazzy snaptastic cool dance/pop/bhangra/reggae jam like no other band can! If you’re Desi and u know it, then you’ll groove to the “riddum” of this latest album by Stereo Nation.

So, let’s balle balle ourselves right into the tracks shall we? I’ve got my arms in the air, you know it, cause I’m Desi and u know IT. The first track, “Desi and U Know IT” is also the first single off the album and it is tearing up the charts. Combining a catchy refrain with classic Bhangra thrown into the middle provides a very nice contrast that will grab you by the ears and throw you onto the dance floor. This track is a perfect example of what Taz does so well, and that is creating simple but incredibly catchy melodies that stick to your brain. So if you’re Desi and u know it, then clap your hands my balle balle brothers and sisters! WINNING!

After sweating up a storm, we have a nice romantic song titled, “Jaan Meri Banja (Everything is You) Remix”. It’s classic Taz/Stereo Nation. A repeated hypnotic refrain with laid back rhythm, and the addition of flute gives a nice traditional feel to a modern track. “I can’t want you more than I do, I can’t need you more than I do, I can’t love you more than I do…cuz everything is you. ‘Nuff said ladies…time for you to sway and swoon!

Whew, after romancing with the previous track, I am left gasping for breath as the third track starts blasting through the sub woofer. “Shehr Diyeh Koreeyeh” has a nice electro dance pop feel to it with a staccato rhythm and catchy lyrics. Taz brings it again with just the right fist pumping punch to his singing. This one will hyp-no-tize YOU!

After hitting the modern dance floor, with a side step to romance, we have the fourth track, a cover of Heera’s smash hit, “Melana De Naal Ayee Mitro”, and any fan of the original will lift up their leg and Bhangra from the beginning of this track to the end. Taz wisely keeps to the original, maintaining the rustic flavor of the song. BALLE BALLE!!!!

From classic Bhangra we move into the funky cool stylings of, “Je Tu Ban Jaye Meri”, which moves into the traditional Stereo Nation sound, of laid back music, memorable vocals, and a nice reggae sound interlude. After all, “Come into my life, let me give you good loving…sweet loving, all you gotta do is be true to yourself". This one combines into a classic traditional style reggae smash that is an awesome potpourri of musical flavor. Let me give you some loving…indeed!

We’re onto the sixth track and the album doesn’t have a stinker yet. “Nachne Da Mood” is one of those tracks with a killer beat that is instantly likeable. The subtle moans of a very pleasured…uh…woman adds a creepy sensuousness to the track and will make parents/aunties/uncles quite uncomfortable. Great electro beat and harmonies make up this song. Isn’t that great? Can you dig it?!

Let’s turn up the heat with a faster tempo and beat shall we? “Are You Ready” is relentless in its urgent beat that makes you feel like you have something important to do, like dance till you drop! Just a warning here, there are explicit lyrics in this track, so cover up the kiddie's ears. The best part of the track is the Middle Eastern rhythm using the Dumbek (drum) to create an even more pulsing sound. Are you ready to party dawgs? You bet!

Track eight, “Dost Karle Toast”, is a Bhangra dance track for the guys left dancing and moshing on the dance floor at the end of every party. You know, it’s the midnight hour when the men who have had too much to drink take over the dance floor like dancing zombies! This is probably one of the weaker tracks in terms of originality. Taz plays it pretty safe with this one, as it sounds like a whiskey infused nursery rhyme. The electric guitar solo is cool though. Gonna get high, raise your hands and touch the sky! Woo hooo!

Whispering and a trance like breakbeat shake up the listener with, “Mein Wulait Kanu Aa Gaya”, which is a really cool track, that is sonically quite different than any of the other tracks on the album. This is Taz stretching his creative muscles and creating something off the beaten track that is just simply cool to listen to. Keep the grooving moving moving!

The album is rounded off with the original mix of “Jaan Meri Ban Ja” that drops the techno synths in favor of more traditional sounding instrumentation. It beats the remix hands down, and is simply just a beautiful track. The “Desi & U Know It” remix ends the album with a Euro techno dance sound, which is just not as lively as the original track. Unfortunately, it’s not a great remix in that it strips the character of the original, replacing it with a rather generic techno sound. This is the only skip track on the album, just listen to the original and you’ll be better off.

The sign of a truly talented composer/musician/singer is one who can keep going back to the creative well, so to speak and bring forth new creations. Taz/Stereo Nation has been able to bring down the house for over a decade, and he still manages to sound fresh ‘n’ cool. “Desi & U Know It” is a refreshing bhangra/pop/dance/trance/reggae album that will have you foot tapping your way into the sunset. Make sure to check it out!


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