Thursday, April 01, 2004

pancham in the blender

Used to be a time where being a hardcore Pancham fan included knowing about cool songs that got knocked off the radar thanks to bad films or bad luck, or both. With the remix craze now resembling the IT boom of the early 90s, being a hardcore Pancham fan means being able to spot these melodia obscura that are now popped into a second-rate blender along with synthesizer masala, pre-programmed rhythms and a usually passable second-rate voice punching out the melody without fake sensuality and oomph. But thanks to the remix raajaas, one gets to hear forgotten nuggets like ba.Ngale ke piichhe (more famous the much maligned pop icon kaa.NTaa lagaa), ham ne sanam ko Kat likhaa, sonaa ruupaa laayo re. And now HMV/Saregama has just released a sequel to Gulzar remembers Pancham. It's called Panchambeats, and boasts nothing special for hardcore Pancham fans, besides extracts from merii sa.ngiit yaatraa and cleaned-up versions of Pancham compositions in the aging moulting HMV catalogue. Rumours have it that old BMG Crescendo catalogue gems are reappearing (or even appearing for the first time) on CD. I wouldn't get too excited about any signs of a Pancham revival. These are just whiffs of capitalism.

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