Various Artists


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Union Square's Manteca imprint keeps churning out collections of quality Punjabi pop with an electronica slant and Bhangra is its best yet. There's plenty to dance to here, but the creative and inspired constructions on each track make it great living room listening, as well. Strange acid house flashbacks are conjured up on Anakhi's "Gideh Vich," a great blend of the hypnotic and cinematic that stirs itself up into whirling finish. It's the collection's highlight and the following "Mele Vich" is nearly as engaging with its combination of quiet storm and trip-hop echo topped with Sahara's passionate vocals. Panjabi MC's appearance is a stomping winner and proves he's got plenty of life left past his hit "Mundian to Bach Ke." The rest of the collection swirls, hovers, and stomps with innovative production and spirited performances throughout. Bhangra recalls the excitement of listeners' first encounters with Talvin Singh, Asian Dub Foundation, or even Cornershop.

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