Various Artists

Rough Guide to Bhangra Dance

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Even in the wake of the Asian Massive movement, bhangra remains alive, although it's still a predominantly British phenomenon. However, the term bhangra dance is almost redundant, as it was originally a folk dance style that's evolved through Western instruments into something that packs the dancefloors in clubs -- though still marked by the beat of the double-headed dhol drum. But plenty of styles come under the umbrella of bhangra, as this compilation ably shows. There's the R&B of Veronica that wouldn't sound out of place in America, the almost indie rock of Manak-E, the more traditional acoustic sound of Madan Bata Sindhu, or the neo-Bollywood beat of Malkit Singh, who's been a bhangra star for two decades. The Americans are represented by the raga-bhangra of Soni Pabla, while Binder puts a touch of dancehall into "Billo Raneeay." The common factor of the tracks is their danceability, sometimes subtle, sometimes overpowering, as on Daljit Mattu's naggingly infectious "Taweet." Taz offer a poppy bhangra-soul mix with a killer hook, and it all closes with a classic, Panjabi by Nature's "Nain Preeto De," that brings roots and modern sounds together in perfect balance.

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