This is the long-awaited second installment in the Bombay the Hard Way series, the ongoing anthology of Bollywood film works by the great Indian directors and composers Kalyanji, Anandji, and V. Shah. It is reasonable to be skeptical after the sheer genius of the first volume, expecting that this might be second-rate or bottom of the barrel material designed to flog a dead horse. Nothing could be further from the truth. This collection focuses on the movies scored by the V. Shah brothers in the 1980s, when plenty of images from the gun-running, drug-smuggling, kung fu, pimp-fighting movies of the previous two decades were still used, but Bollywood had turned increasingly to crime-type syndicate films. (Why not? The mob was fronting the money for most of these movies anyway.) What had changed in Bollywood during that time was the use of technology: drum machines, sequencers, and phase shifters entered the fray with sitars, tablas, rock, funk, disco, and traditional melodies from Rajastan. DJs and mix masters were brought in to doctor these tracks a bit more because, in the 1980s, the place of incidental music had changed in Indian cinema, particularly in the masala ("mixed spice") films: Sequences were often written for the exact amount of time a sequence was on the screen, often only 20 or 30 seconds of music. The producers Adrian Milan and Christina Bates brought in the talents of Mixmaster Mike, Kid Koala & Dynomite D, Ursula 100, and many others to cut, paste, and mix tracks into coherent statements of the genius of the Shah brothers. They succeeded in spades, remaining true to the spirit of the source music, and enhancing it rather than covering it over -- which is so much the wont of DJs and mixologists today. This collection retains the same punch and swagger of the original and keeps the groove rolling and the smiles coming. This is a hell of a follow-up; listeners can only hope that more is found to ship their way soon.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek