Urban Turban - Cornershop

Ample Play

With the release of 2011’s ‘Cornershop and the Double O Groove of …’ Tjinder Singh seems to have found not only a new (though oddly vintage) funky vibe to groove on, he’s found a new spark of creative inspiration. In less than a year, he hits us between the ears once again, this time with Urban Turban, yet another long play that sports 10 brand new compositions, a remix of the opener and a bonus track. That’s a lot of output for a brief trip around the sun. And, it’s perfect timing for a summer soundtrack, or as The Quietus puts it, “The beast of winter is slain and what better way to celebrate than with some solar flared grooves courtesy of Cornershop?” Urban Turban expands on the vocal collaborations that made The Double O Groove Of … with Bubbley Kaur such an outright hoot. To begin the cavalcade o’ fun, it’s What Did The Hippie Have In His Bag? You’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve died for the seventh time and gone back to Brimful of Asha on the 45. It’s another minimalist pop Singh-along with similar syllables and cadence in the repeating chorus, buoyed by the angelic voices of Castle Hill Primary School. “Pick me, Mr. Singh! I know what the hippie had in his bag!” Something fuzzy this way comes next. Who’s Gonna Lite It Up? (presumably what the hippie had in his bag) features sweet, doinky tabla, dark guitars and Stockholm’s Izzy Lindquister blessing the mic. Vocal performances by Celeste, Katie, Rajwant, In Light Of Aquarius and Kay Kwong each bring unique shading to the next Urban Turban offerings. I really enjoy Stéphanie Sokolinski’s style on Something Makes you Feel Like. Better known as SoKo, she’s a French singer and actress. Hot on its heels is Inspector Bamba Singh’s Lament, a slick bass-driven, Indian fusion sung by Amar; probably the closest thing on the disc to The Double O Groove Of …. Singh has a remarkable gift for coining words and phrases. The song titles themselves taunt you to even try and skip a track and in the end, every one has a good time and no one gets hurt; although, I imagine there a few street cart food vendors out there kicking themselves for not thinking of the name Urban Turban first.