‘FLASH BACK’ by A S Kang
When Flashback Fridays launched in early October, the main aim was to give Panjabi music enthusiasts an insight into their favourite albums and unveil some facts that they might not have necessarily known at the time the albums were released. A feature we’ve also been wanting to incorporate into the Flashback Fridays posts is what artists thought of the albums.
This week’s Flashback Fridays album, possibly one of the most iconic albums of its time, will receive the full article treatment, as it deserves.
‘Flash Back’ released in early ’94 and was Kang’s comeback album. As a result, there was a lot of pressure to deliver a quality product, given his back catalogue of hit releases like ‘Gidheyan Di Rani’ and ‘Main Aashiq Tera’. This album would be the one that introduced A S Kang to a whole new generation of Panjabi music fans – a generation that will have definitely known about ‘Gidheyan Di Rani’, but maybe not the man or name behind the iconic track.
This album definitely did some serious damage when it released, catapulting A S Kang to new levels of stardom in the process, which paved the way for future releases throughout the 90s and 00s. Released on the ‘Roma Music Bank’ Record Label, this album was another hit album in their growing catalogue of releases, and a strong statement to everyone that this label was definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Everything from the compositions, arrangement and production was done by Mashinder Singh Kang – A S Kang’s son.
Percussion on the album was done by none other than Sukshinder Shinda and Tubsy! At the time, it was very rare to see two top percussionists on one album.
“On the day of recording, I managed to forget my dagga and thillee (Dhol sticks) at home, so Kang had to drive all the way from Bromsgrove to Birmingham to get them for me! I used that time to be relax myself and play Dholki and Tabla.”
Sukshinder Shinda also played Harmonium on the last track, Munde Punjab De. Prior to this, he had only done a couple of Harmonium recordings for other artists, so it was refreshing hearing him on the Harmonium, as well as on Tabla, Dholki and Dhol. All of these recordings were getting him ready for full time production of his own, and we all known the impact Shinda has had on the scene as a producer!
The music on Flash Back was key in the evolution of the UK scene in the 90s. Flash Back was another album that added to the change in sounds artists were using their songs – i.e. delving back into the traditional sounds that were once staple in releases.
“I have known Avtar Singh Kang since I was very young. My elder brother and idol, SITAL Singh, used to play Dholki with him and his band, which consisted of: Kuldip Randhawa (Tabla), Kanu Bhai Patel (Accordion), Girish Patel (Guitar), Sukshinder Shinda (Dhol) and Parmjit Pammi (Female Vocalist).
I never ever thought that I would ever be considered to play on stage with A S Kang, let alone on his album! When I played with him on stage, I was always very nervous, because Kang was a perfectionist and he used to tell me off if I got things wrong. So, when it came to playing on the album, I was petrified!
I thought the album was a great new sound for Kang, which still reflected that traditional Kang flavour.”
“Given the scene’s consistency, at the time, in producing top albums week in, week out, Flash Back wasn’t any different. Hearing Shinda’s percussion was always a major highlight for me. The Boliyan were unique, which really made Kang stand out. A top release!”
Gee Grewal (@GeeGrewal)
“I was happy to see A S Kang make a more commercial return, which would be appreciated by people who know about ‘Gidheyan Di Rani’ but not necessarily the man or name behind the track. The sound and concept was fresh, but the Boliyan did overshadow the rest of the album, which is a bit unfair, as it is quality throughout. If you listen to it in 2016, it has aged very well. From 1993 to around 2000, it was played consistently at all weddings and London Bhangra nights such as Limelight, Samantha’s, The Office etc.”
‘Flash Back’ has since been physically re-released by Hi-Tech Music and digitally re-released by Moviebox Records.
An album that should be in everyone’s collection, no questions asked!