May 2017 saw the long-overdue collaboration between Coldcut and Adrian Sherwood, two giants of the UK’s underground music scene. Releasing electronic dub-pop opus ‘Outside The Echo Chamber’, bringing together these longstanding innovators who – after innumerable crossed paths over the past 30 years – finally got into the studio together. Announcing new single ‘Kajra’, it arrives alongside Coldcut’s 30th anniversary tour. Performing a new, cutting-edge audiovisual show, they’ll be using Coldcut-built audio and visual apps to deliver performances touching on their innovative legacy – while facing firmly forward to the future.
This new single ‘Kajra’ (taken from the LP released in May), accompanied by Shobhan Shah’s artwork, is given the full dub and rework treatment in a bumper-pack of mixes. A reimagining of Hindi-Urdu love song ‘Kajra Mohabbat Wala’, it features vocalist Hamsika Iyer (whose credits include Bollywood films and trance act Juno Reactor), recruited and recorded for the track by the late, legendary Mumbai guitarist Babu Choudhary. Seeking to work with something that captured the spirit of Bollywood music, Babu, a friend of Matt Black’s wife who is from Mumbai suggested this track. The single includes an extended 10” mix, a ‘Maximum’ dub, a ‘Cosmic’ dub, an acapella and a remix from psychedelic dub don Ott that’s digi-only. Sherwood reports big reactions to playing it out and the album version was playlisted by Bobby Friction (BBC Asian Network).
Matt Black, recalling how the track came to fruition, says: “It sat on our hard drive for a year until Jon suggested we bring it into the Sherwood sessions. Ade fired the riddim up, Celloman reinforced the riffs superbly and suddenly we were all dancing round the studio. Indian love song, JA rhythm called the Egyptian, dubbed in Ramsgate…Outernational!