Bollywood & Beyond

Out this week, our World Is India, compilation. It’s a labor of love that, I kid you not, began as a germ of an idea way back at the turn of the millennium. It’s finally come to fruition.

These new and vintage recordings (dating from 1962 to 2008) encompass classic filmi offerings, electronica from the “Asian Underground,” and gorgeous vocals from Indian icons like Asha Bhosle and her sister Lata Mangeshkar. There are many old-school Bollywood tracks on it, but it’s essentially a fusion – or masala if you will – of traditional music, Bollywood, hip-hop and modern India-flavored electronica.

We wanted to pay tribute to some of India’s seminal artists, but also to show how the sounds of that country have impacted and intertwined with the music of the rest of the world.

In writing and researching the liner notes for World Is India, I had the pleasure of watching some of the actual song clips from the original Bollywood films. And I got to thinking how cool it would be to share that with people. Wish we could have put out a DVD full of clips, but alas … in the meantime, whether you’re a fan of musicals or not, check out a couple of links:

Take a boat ride with actors Asha Parekh and Rajesh Khanna as they paddle to the sounds of Mukesh, from the 1971 film, Kati Patang.

And then check out “Chaiyya Chaiyya” by Slumdog Millionaire composer, Sukhwinder Singh and the amazing choreography aboard a moving train (!), from the 1998 film Dil Se.

I’d love to do a volume two at some point. It might include “Thanda Thanda Paani” by Baba Sehgal, which is essentially a cover of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” which is itself essentially a cover of “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie (ach, this is getting too convoluted). Because more people need to hear it. Or not.

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