Hamza – Guru Funk EP – funk collides head on with house music in India
The prolific house music label from India, Wind Horse Records, introduces an exceptional fifth release: the Guru Funk EP from New Delhi-based DJ/prducer Hamza. With this offering Hamza is on a mission to prove that Indian musicians can indeed have, as he says, “serious funk in thier blood.” Thus we’re given three seriously funky house tracks, including a remix by gifted Indian newcomer Vipul.
Hamza finds inspiration by merging ‘western’ house music and experiences in different countries with the sounds and styles of India. The songs on the Guru Funk EP have roots in France, another country whose electronic musicians have heartily embraced funk music. The title was conceived in Paris and proudly wears this sonic influence, filled with breaky house rhythms, a punchy “old school” bassline, and disco string swells. Originally Hamza had also included vocal samples from one of Mali’s top divas. A demo of “Guru Funk” was sent to the singer who loved the track and approved, but unfortunately label politics got in the way. With sample clearance becoming unlikely Hamza grabbed the microphone and added his own heavily processed vocals, a first for the producer. The result is the relentlessly catchy dancefloor shaker that is “Guru Funk.”
Vipul Angirish was on his way to a more traditional career in computers when an Indian astrologer convinced him that life as a DJ was his destiny. Subsequent DJ adventures introduced Vipul to Hamza and he was soon asked to join the Wind Horse Records team. Vipul’s remix of “Guru Funk” is his debut production for the label, and it is an impressive one. The beats are retooled to a bouncy, four-on-the-floor thump and the track steadily builds with rising sounds and staccato synth chords. Hamza’s vocoder vocals are used as rhythmic stabs boosting the danceability of the cut. A potent addition to any house DJ’s virtual record crate.
The French are hat-tipped once again in the follow-up track “Delhi 2 Paris,” which was inspired by a night out at famed Parisian nightclub Batofar on the day of the Fete De La Musique. It’s Hamza’s take on the “French filter funky house” that he heard, complete with a crunchy, rolling bassline and repetitious chords and jazzy flute licks. The vocal part in the break is frequent collaborator Loopy Juice repeating the words “Nasha Charh Gaya,” Hindi for “I am getting high!”
Wind Horse Records continues to expose India’s rising house music talent to a worldwide audience. The efforts of Hamza, Vipul, and the Guru Funk EP will undoubtedly make waves in nightclubs and DJ sets everywhere. House music is proving to be a notably malleable, international art form and Wind Horse is certainly leading the way.
Giom (DJ, UK) – “This is a great release, and the Vipul mix will go down a storm in my sets. Love it.”
Atnarko (EIGHT-TRACKS, US) – “Guru Funk is super dope! I’m really into both mixes.”
Tyree Cooper – “Guru Funk is PHAT! I will bang the Vipul Remix for sure when I get into my jackin phase in my sets. Nice job.”
DJ Sneak – “Groovy joints!”
Richie Hartness (Untitled Music Blog) – “Kicking ass with the Vipul Remix – jacked out funk and the Hazma flavour all over it!”
SimonG (Deep South Audio, New Zealand) – “This EP really flexes its funk! All 3 tracks take you on an Indian-inspired 80’s retro take on house. Wind Horse Records is starting to pick up some serious steam!”
Al Bradley (Bugged Out, UK) – “Yet more fantastic grooves from Wind Horse & Hamza, the original cuts on here are both superb! ‘Dehli 2 Paris’ a brilliant, a really strong striaght-up house cut. My pick though is the techy Vipul mix of ‘Guru Funk’, what a debut!”
Bob Duskis (Six Degrees Records) – “Every time I play a Hamza track on our weekly radio show I get an e-mail from someone asking who this guy is and where people can find his music. A great hybrid of House, Tech and Indian sounds.”