BOOKING OFFER: CORNERSHOP

Hi,

I’m booking dates for Cornershop.
They are available for festivals in July and August and also for some club
shows in October and November 2011.

Please visit the band’s Myspace and also read a review of their latest
album. http://www.myspace.com/cornershop

I hope to hear from you asap.

Regards.

Alain

In the accompanying press for Cornershop & the Double ‘O’ Groove Of,
erstwhile frontman Tjinder Singh claims that he’s “wanted to do an album
like this for 20 years.” At first listen to Cornershop’s new release, one
wonders why he and cohort Ben Ayres waited so long to put forth such a
seamless fusion of Punjabi roots-music and sample-happy Britrock. Maybe an
earlier attempt – outside of the odd appetite-whetter like “Brimful of
Asha” or the few more Indocentric tunes on 2009’s Judy Sucks a Lemon for
Breakfast – would have sounded forced and not as fully realized. Or maybe
he was waiting for the right collaborator, which they’ve found in featured
vocalist Bubbley Kaur.

Kaur may have stumbled her way into a full-time gig, and kudos to
Cornershop for drawing from the giddha (Punjabi folk/dance music as sung
by women — think of it as the more feminine side to bhangra) tradition
rather than basing these tracks on some harder-hitting bhangra dhol
rhythms. Her rosewater-sweet vocals — sung entirely in Punjabi — sound
like they served as the compositional centerpiece of more or less every
track on this record, leaving Singh and Co. to come up with the catchy
accompaniment for her melodies and cadences.

“United Provinces of India” throws everything into the brew from the get
go. Anchored by a breakbeat, the rhythmic pluck of the one-stringed
Punjabi tumbi gives way to single-note funk guitar while a Gangstarr-esque
jazz loop drops in and out of the mix. Disparate parts fall together
perfectly again on ‘Topknot,” whose sunny guitar riff and Casiotone
rhythmic tick create an unexpectedly comfy bedding for Kaur’s heartwarming
performance. Throughout, she shows her knack for emoting in a way that
renders the language barrier totally irrelevant — what might in another
context sound foreign here sounds like a greeting from an old friend, sung
through a smile. “The 911 Curry” forgoes a retro funk backing for what
could pass as a traditional devotional bhajan dominated by tabla and
droning harmonium with funky stabs of brass. Kaur’s floating vocal is
propelled by a skipping JB-style bass-and-drum groove on “Natch,” which
starts with a bizarre and comical college fight-song theme. It’s
juxtapositions like those that remind one of the band’s wry sense of
humor: “Double Decker Eyelashes” grafts a stately harpsichord melody to
Kaur’s vocal, bringing to mind the scene from the hit Hindi film Lagaan,
where the stuffy suited and gowned Britishers are having their very
“proper” ball within the confines of their Indian compound. “Once There
was a Wintertime” creates a similar comically quaint mood with
spliced-and-diced chamber overture samples peppering yet another funk
breakbeat.

On the other hand, Cornershop recall their heritage — both Indian and
British — in the slinky, organ- and sitar-driven “Double Digit,” which
soundchecks Ananda Shankar’s early desi-funk experiments, and “The Biro
Pen,” which (save for Kaur’s golden-era Bollywoodisms) could pass for an
Ian Dury and the Blockheads out-take. The album wraps with a terribly
strong lead-out track in the vague Madchester rhythms of “Don’t Shake It,”
whose fingerpicked guitar chords, a la “Everybody’s Talkin’,” buoy Kaur’s
jubilant refrain of “hai, hai / hoi, hoi.”

Cornershop and the Double-O Groove Of finds the band’s east/west fusion
developed far past the experimental stage into deft and heartfelt
songcraft. And given the renewed interest in India’s pop culture in a
post-Slumdog Millionaire and Sublime Frequencies-informed west, the timing
couldn’t be better.


Some Noise asbl
C/O Alain Bolle
PO BOX 43
1050 Brussels 5
tel: 32 473 93 40 28
https://debloque.wordpress.com

info@somenoise.be

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