Thursday, June 30, 2005

Kitsch goes mainstream - remix

After listening to one more remix, this time of a Dil to Pagal Hai song, I wondered how much the times have changed. Many years ago, adding jhankar beats (essentially random bass beats and jhankar) to a song, any song was in vogue. Not among the nouveau riche or the Malabar Hill types, but it was a part of kitsch culture. Thus you got to hear jhankar songs usually in slums, ganpati festivals and the like. I remember how I cringed when our office delivery boy offered his walkman for me to listen to what he was hearing. It was titled Bindiya Chamkegi remix with super duper jhankar beats or something like that. The dandiya festivals were another driver with their requirement being that songs run non stop. Thus one song seamlessly switched into another with the addition of a layer of extra beats on the original song, making the original music almost redundant.

Then Bally Sagoo happened. Remixes moved from a sub culture to mainstream. Not every part of kitsch (sorry, one time kitsch) moves into the mainstream, but this one definitely has. Jhankar songs usually went hand in hand with pimped up auto rickshaws, atleast in Bombay, but more about that some other time.

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