Various Artists

Bollywood Funk

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AllMusic Review by

Do you enjoy blaxploitation film scores and Latin jazz? Are you searching for music that manages to sound both exotic and familiar? Do you have a high tolerance for variable sound quality and watered-down versions of funk and world music? If you answered "yes" to all these questions, you may want to check this album of Indian soundtrack music from the 1960s and 1970s. Compiled by SutraSonic, an Outcaste DJ duo whose fascination with Bollywood film scores began while growing up in a London burough in the 1980s, this compilation features an intriguing amalgam of Indian and American musical styles. For example, the oft-sampled "Hum Kisise Theme" seems to come from the same musical universe as Isaac Hayes' theme for Shaft, although the horn arrangements seem to owe more to school marching bands. The eclecticism grows wilder over the course of the album, which features tabla, psychedelic fuzz sitar, James Brown-influenced guitar licks, Motown-influenced vocals, synthesized Eastern strings, and plenty of middle of the road schlock. A few of these selections, such as the theme music from Shalimar, have been highly regarded by collectors of rare vinyl; and while not all of the selections are great, most of it should hold considerable interest for fans of exotica or Bollywood films, as well as musicians looking for material to sample. You won't find much bona fide funk here, however; the music doesn't sound quite as outrageous or campy as some people may hope. It's unfortunate that the liner notes provide so little information.

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