This past weekend while at NonStop Banghra, a monthly dance party in San Francisco, I was introduced to a fusion of genres that left me positively breathless. I’ve always enjoyed various kinds of Indian dance music – everything from the cheesy but catchy sound of Bollywood musicals and the traditional cultural tunes to the more beat-driven hip hop and dub influenced club songs, and I was pretty sure I’d be a big fan of Banghra. And that I was. But, the highlight of the night was a performance by a group called Delhi 2 Dublin.
D2D “fuses the traditional sounds of tabla, dhol, fiddle, and sitar with cutting edge DJ aesthetics, to create a highly charged multi-cultural dance celebration.” Imagine the energy and cultural fervor of a huge Indian wedding party colliding with a bunch of drunken Irishmen dancing on a wooden table with fiddles! For a good overview of their sound and feel, check out their promo video below:
The most notable band member has to be Kytami. The little firecracker of a violinist not only fiddles faster than hell, but practically performs her own one-woman Stomp-esque sideshow. She is all over the place and her edgy vibe adds an interesting dimension to the makeup of the group.
I spoke to the band leader, Tarun, briefly at the end of the night. He was wearing a lion bandana and beaming with exhilaration. This guy really lives his life out loud. Tarun was born to a Punjabi father and a mother of Irish descent – hence, his fascination with fusing Irish and Indian sounds. He is a classically trained tabla player, a DJ, and a producer, and handles the tabla and electronics on stage.
Delhi 2 Dublin has created their own niche at the intersection of gritty hip hop and electronic beats, traditional Indian influences, and that raw Celtic sound that packs a punch – all of which make you want to get up and dance.