DhamaalSF touring…. India

Any self-respecting, well-connected desi in SF has found himself at a DhamaalSF party or 2 over the years. Dhamaal’s recent Halloween party, for example, was a world-beater – at least when it came to mutinous content. Alas, the denizens of the city by the bay will have to go a while longer before the next one. Our boyz are back in da homeland

Dhamaal Soundsystem, one of America’s most vibrant South Asian club performers and music bands, is currently touring India, and plans to set dance floors on fire in Mumbai, Goa and New Delhi.

San Francisco’s native sons are taking on the world with their unique twist on South Asian soundz -

The San Francisco-based group, which is a rage among alternative and South Asian music lovers in the US, consists of 20-odd members, including technicians, who trace their roots to different parts of the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka.

“Our goal is to showcase South Asian or sub-continental music, including sufi, Hindustani and Carnatic classical with a Western perspective,” Maneesh Kenia, who set up Dhamaal in 1999 with DJ and producer Janaka Selekta, told IANS.


p>…”Please do not perceive us as another group which just hitchhikes on Bollywood remixes and Bhangra-hip hop,” said Maneesh, an Indian American who quit his career in music software to follow his passion.

DNA India gives us a few blurbs about the origins of this veritable SF institution –

Dhamaal was born when a few friends got together and hosted a house party seven years ago. “We’re a 20 strong group and we do the whole live experience with the DJs, video, artistry, etc,” says Dhruv.

Their parties are renowned for the eclectic mix of desi’s, non-desi’s, artistes, techies (we’re in SF, afterall), and alterna-culture fans across the Bay Area. Dhamaal’s website, gallery, and, most importantly, music clips can be found on their website – http://www.dhamaalsf.com/.

13 thoughts on “DhamaalSF touring…. India

  1. Random trivia about dhamaal – they entered the top 20 electronic downloads on iTunes when their album came out this spring.

    Vinod their site’s not been forwarding properly for a while – please change your link to http://www.dhamaalsf.com/v1/# (or is working for other people? For me dhamaalsf.com is a 404)

  2. Vinod, you know what would have been really funny? If you had given a hat tip to LGF for this piece.. oh man! The look on their faces…. pricless.

  3. I got into their site just fine. Their music is pretty good. But I have seen tracks like these too often. Buddha Bar stuff is similar to Dhamal exceot Dhamal is all indian.

    I can so see them being picked for a bollywood movie soundtrack!

  4. I got into their site just fine.

    Oh, well ignore me then. The Shiva Soundsystem (London-based friends of Dhamaal) are also touring India (well, some of them are). When I spoke to them I’m sure I recall somone saying they would be doing something with Dhamaal out there, but I don’t know for sure. I know Maneesh (the Twister) was due to play at the IMMIES afterparty but got cancelled at the last minute. There’s a whole bunch of people DJing around India at the moment, Bobby Friction, SSB, Dhamaal, Sonik Gurus, Hard Kaur, Bandish Projekt…

    Hey…I’m going to be in SF when they do their ‘Dhamaal Sights and Sounds Festival’, although I don’t know what that is.

    I can so see them being picked for a bollywood movie soundtrack!

    Hmmm…not so sure Bollywood has got a clue who they are, but rather like Tigerstyle, Bikram Singh, Jasbir Jassi and Achanak, Dhamaal are on the soundtrack for Project Gotham Racing.

  5. I read on their events page that they were going to show at the VHI party in Goa on New years Eve. And for fear of sounding like a bollyphobe (which I am and I am still in the closet), I read on another site that almost the entire industry’s big wigs go to Goa for the season. I think it’s only a matter of time before someone ‘discovers’ them.

    It would be a nice turn, that’s for sure. I cannot recall any titles right away but there have been a few soundtracks in the last year or two that have had an eclectic mix of world music. The tracks didn’t have people dancing to them on screen either.

  6. It’d def be cool if Bollywood decided to break the mold. I think it’s highly likely younger filmmakers will bring the music to wider audience. Whether films such as Monsoon Wedding count as Bollywood is debatable – but even a few years ago that movie featured the MIDIval Punditz, who weren’t all that well known back then. So thass cool! A lot of what used to be called ‘Arthouse movies’ in India have featured D&B and it started to get annoying. Bollywood is now catching on and it’s getting equally tiresome. Fast cuts, jerky camerawork, some Asian-themed drum&bass soundtrack et voila. Zzzz.

    Goa is where all the great and good head. Just about all the people I mentioned above are DJing Goa on NYE, many of them at that VH1 gig. But the other gig I mentioned, the IMMIES; that’s certainly a place a smart Bollywood music-scout could see the non-Bollywood, non-bhangra music that desis are making. I hope so!

  7. Best. Bandname. Ever.

    Technically, Hard Kaur isn’t a band, she’s a girl! A rather lovely rapper called Taran who’s a member of Sona Family. Ignore all that tough girl act on her website (here’s a nicer pic). Although once I was next to her at a gig when two racist idiots were making trouble and amongst all these big brown fellas, the only person to sort them out (in a rather painful, bottle-related manner) was Hard Kaur. A friend has been trying (unsuccessfully) to get into her pants for ages.

    Ok, what do you call a turban-lovin’ pornstar from Punjab?


  8. Hey, I interviewed Dhruva and Maneesh earlier this week. Will post a link to the story when it comes out in January at http://www.therecordmag.com Mumbai was my first Dhamaal experience – or abridged Dhamaal gig as Maneesh referred to it – but it was still amazing!

  9. Props to my old friend, DJ Cheb i Sabbah. A true “Hin-Jew” if i ever met one…