Free track from Delhi 2 Dublin: “Turn Up the Stereo”

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Delhi 2 Dublin, our favorite Canadian Celtic dub bhangra band, is back with a new album, Turn Up the Stereo. It won’t get its official U.S. release until next February, but in the meantime, you can download the title track for free. Cuz Canadians are nice like that.

On “Turn Up the Stereo,” as usual, the Vancouver-based quintet sounds like a giant jam session between Michael Franti, Fatboy Slim, Asian Dub Foundation and the cast of Riverdance. We likee. Especially when their awesome and  now-blonde violinist Kytami new violinist Sara Fitzpatrick lets fly with the fiddlin’ about two and a half minutes in. It’s like the Devil took a wrong turn and went down to Goa instead of Georgia.

If you live in Canada, you can already score yourself a copy of Turn Up the Stereo on iTunes. If you don’t live in Canada, you’re hosed until Feb. 19, 2013.

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Martyn Bennett

I’d like to dedicate this week’s post to our good friend, Crabby (not his real name…or is it?), who introduced us to this week’s weird artiste. Martyn Bennett is pretty much Crabby’s hero, because he played bagpipes over electronic dance music. And Crabby is the only person we know who plays the bagpipes and has been to Burning Man. So you can see where there’s some kindred spirit action happening there.

Sadly, Crabby will never get to meet Bennett, who passed away in 2005 from Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 33. But he left behind a body of work that still has folks in Celtic and world music circles in a bit of a tizzy. Fusing traditional Celtic melodies and instrumentation to the looped beats of electronic music—especially the late ’90s hard stuff, like breakbeat, drum ‘n’ bass and Prodigy-style U.K. hardcore—Bennett created a sound that still tends to leave people either scratching their heads or doing a gleeful jig.

I have some turkey to consume shortly, so I’ll keep this post short and sweet and just leave you with a couple of clips that showcase Bennett in all his Celtic/breakbeat/fusion/mashup glory. Enjoy your Thanksgiving (if that’s your thing), and we’ll be posting more just as soon as we’ve emerged from our tryptophan-induced comas.

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Delhi 2 Dublin

Mixing music styles is a tricky business. Do it well, and you can inspire entire new genres, i.e. Celtic punk (thank you, Pogues), ska-punk (nice one, Specials), and rap-metal (we forgive you, Rage Against the Machine). Do it badly, and you can sound like an unholy train wreck. Do it badly with world music, and…well, usually the results wind up sounding like something that plays in the background while you shop for dream-catchers and bath salts.

To their credit, no one would ever mistake Delhi 2 Dublin for New Age gift shop background music. That being said, we still can’t decide if they’re actually good or not. Let’s put it this way: They get an “A” for effort, and an “A+” for originality. It would be wacky enough if they just fused traditional Celtic music with Bhangra, a style of folk music from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. But no! These crazy kids—who are from Vancouver, of all places—decided to throw a little hip-hop, rock, reggae, dub and electronica into the mix, too. The results sound sort of the “Lord of the Dance” soundtrack as performed by Asian Dub Foundation and remixed by Fatboy Slim. Did that last sentence make any sense to you at all? Then we may have just found you your new favorite band!

Believe it or not, Delhi 2 Dublin actually isn’t the first band to do this sort of Celtic-flavored, pan-global hodge-podge. Afro Celt Sound System, among others, having been doing something similiar since at least the mid-’90s. But Dehli 2 Dublin earns a spot on our Weird List because there’s something about the way they approach their music that’s equal parts dorky and awesome. The video below, for example, is just crying out for an SNL Digital Short, don’t you think? And we mean that in a good way. They’re like the T-Pain of world music fusion.

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