Bhangra Revolution: Red Baraat’s “Shruggy Ji” opens up incredible pop possibilities with wide-ranging jam
All Songs Considered beat me to the punch, ferreting out Red Baraat and their song “Shruggy Ji”, a maddeningly twisty take on global dance music which covers all the bases from Bhangra (a blend of Punjabi and western sounds) to the jazz sounds of New Orleans and good old-fashioned Brooklyn funk. Not that I begrudge them that discovery, aside from that they’ve had that much more time to enjoy the song’s beguiling hook. Music this amazing needs to be heard, however you wind up finding it.
The band’s debut album, Shruggy Ji, comes out Jan. 15 via Virtual Label, and though I’ve yet to hear the rest of the album, the live cut below from their Louisville show last year has me primed to press repeat with reckless abandon. If last year was the year of folk revivalism, could 2013 be the year world music breaks into the mainstream? Here’s hoping. Anything that packs this much rhythmic punch deserves to have an audience equally willing to throw all caution to the wind.