Founder of the Tectonic label and usher of the latest developing sounds, Pinch is truly a dubstep pioneer. Early recordings like “War Dub” and “Qawwali,” on Planet Mu, seeded the sound that has grown to immense international popularity.
His latest contribution is Missing In Action: A Collection of Selected Tracks, B-Sides, and Remixes, 2006-2010. The album highlights a number of heavy productions that mark Pinch’s career, including a unexpected and rare remix of the late Pakistani musician, Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan’s recording, called “Dil Da Rog Muka Ja Mahi.”
A collision of ideas turns this version of “Dil Da Rog Muka Ja Mahi” into Punjabi dub. Pinch’s minimalistic approach leaves the proper amount of space to feature Kahn’s immense vocals. There’s an honor and respect felt within Pinch’s remix that retains the beauty of the track, and we were curious about how the project came to be.
“On my first trip to DJ in the USA [in 2006], after I had finished my set in San Francisco, a guy stepped up to me and said he was from the world music label Six Degrees and loved my track ‘Qawwali,'” says Pinch. “He said he was working on an album utilizing ‘lost’ vocal recordings from the Qawwali legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan—and was I interested in remixing him. Nusrat is the most revered of all Qawwali singers—this was like being asked to remix The Beatles in many ways! It’s funny how everything connects and how our actions lead to opportunities you might not expect to arise. If I hadn’t titled my track ‘Qawwali,’ I might never have been asked to do this remix. I kept the tempo of the remix at 116 BPM, as it was the natural tempo of Nusrat’s voice—something not to mess about with, in my opinion!”