Diwali Dance Dhamaka with DJ Raj
Gabe’s (lower level) — Saturday, Nov. 8 at 10 p.m.
Diwali Dance Dhamaka, a dance party fueled by Bollywood-style beats, heads to Gabe’s tonight at 10 p.m. courtesy of DJ Raj, a Des Moines DJ and producer looking to bring the high-energy experience of South Asian club scenes to Iowa.
In a Des Moines Register article profiling the Bollywood Night parties put on by Raj, he was likened to New York City’s much-respected DJ Rehka, an artist whose Basement Bhangra parties first brought the “Desi” (a catch-all term for South Asian) sound to general club audiences in late ’90s.
Like Rheka, Raj’s music fuses hip-hop and R&B with Indian musical styles to create a blend of infectiously boisterous dance music. In Raj’s mix below, for example, Lil Jon’s “Turn Down the What” takes on a whole new flavor when mixed against punjabi folk music while losing none of it’s club anthem momentum.
Raj’s DJ isn’t confined to Desi club music. He enjoys DJing various EDM genres like tribal, progressive and hard house and is a fixture of the Des Moines EDM scene. In 2013, he became the owner of city’s electronic music festival, 515 ALIVE.
Though this year’s Diwali holiday is a few weeks past now, Raj no doubt knows Indian celebrations can go on and on — as long as there is enough good music to sustain it.