Postmodern “Hukam”

Guest blogged by Ajaib Kaur

Amrita (Ami) Kaur Dangs sound often is described as a blend of the classical (traditional) and the experimental (non-traditional). Tossing together her North Indian vocal training with impressive sitar skills, she playfully builds collages of inquiry. Also creating the feel of a fireside gathering for trans-national, digital, post-modern sound to question everything. While a blend or an intersection might be an easier way to describe Amritas style to a western audience, I find her sound to be an embodiment of the everyday Sikh experience.

Click here to listen to her track “Strange Community.”

The mesmerizing loops and samples, of each track on Amritas full length debut album Hukam capture the repetitive daily dance we each participate in. Within each track there are varying sensibilities of bargaining, or even resignation, but often vigor and passion that all listeners can relate to.

Interlace feels like the first day of school or at a new job. The strong raag vocals embrace you with the comforting pulse of family, community and heritage. Conversely, Amorphous Matter, could easily double as the soundtrack to any Sikhs encounter with hatred. From having your wet clothes thrown from the dryer on to the floor of the laundromat, to the silent, humiliating, and invasive public pat down by T.S.A. officials at the airport. By the end of the album, the experience brought me to a familiar avant garde space, not unlike posting ones bio-data on a Sikh matrimonial site.

What is special about Amritas album is the confident way she expresses herself. By providing a figurative (and literal) voice to a Sikh women perspective, “her voice ranges from subtle and sublime to massive and nearly overwhelming in power given the right amping, Dang could obliterate buildings with them.[i] Just as any Sikh woman should be able to.

Hukam will be released on February 20, 2011 on Ehse Records. I find the name of the album a fitting title to Amritas pursuit of a holistic, unfettered expression of musical craft. As if an innate acceptance of her subah (nature), the album is an embrace of the Gurus command (hukam). Her sounds [are] so alive, spiritual, and resonating they feel an instant part of you. It’s a sort of vibrational captivity that touches on the religious.[ii]

Check out more of Amritas sounds:

Coming Soon: www.amidang.com
Muxtape: amidang.muxtape.com
Follow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/amidang
MySpace: www.myspace.com/amritakd
Tumblr: amidang.tumblr.com


[i] http://auralstates.com/2009/02/photos-live-review-celebration-lone-wolf-Amrita-dang-the-windup-space-20090220.html

[ii] http://www2.citypaper.com/music/review.asp?rid=14289


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8 Responses to “Postmodern “Hukam””

  1. David Street says:

    I love Ami Dang, fantastic music.

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