Kuljit Bhamra/Various Artists: Namaste Bombay (ARC Music/digital outlets)

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Tu Jab Mila, by Priti Kaur
Kuljit Bhamra/Various Artists: Namaste Bombay (ARC Music/digital outlets)

One of the advantages of being open to what we call "world music" is that you can usually guarantee a surprise that familiar genres (rock, alt.rock, pop, indie.folk or whatever) doesn't often give anymore.

Very little can prepare you for the music of Azerbaijan or that from the Pamir mountains.

Some world music has become quite familiar of course, notably the Afrobeat of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, what we loosely call Sahara blues (or desert blues) and Indian music, be it it classical sitar or sarod, or Bollywood film music.

This double disc is an interesting offshoot of the latter.

It is a tribute to Bollywood music by Britain's composer/tabla player Kuljit Bhamra and various Indian or Anglo-Indian artists he has called in to sing on these original compositions which evoke soundtrack songs.

So it is both familiar in genre but unfamiliar because these are new compositions from artists you've probably never heard before . . . who admittedly were chosen because they sound like they would fit into Bollywood films.

What is often interesting in Bollywood film music are the sly inclusions of Western pop, rock and jazz. You can pick those up here among the 38 songs played by the “Bombay Gold Orchestra”.

De De De, by Parry Mad
 

Go in not expecting to recognise any artist or song but just immerse yourself in the exotic, vaguely erotic, horns and string-enhanced songs which allow you to conjure up your own image of dancers, brightly colored settings, jewelry and the waft of incense.

Turn off your mind, relax and . . .

.

You can buy this album through ARC Music here

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