Just from the title alone -- Bollywood Steel Guitar -- we knew that this installment in the always-amazing Sublime Frequencies series of unusual and under-documented "world music" recordings was gonna be the bomb! Indeed it is. And now on vinyl! The 'exotic' and infectious verve of vintage Bollywood film soundtrack music, performed with electric steel guitar as lead instrument for extra awesomeness, is hard to beat! The steel guitar, bringing with it the groovy twang of Western Swing and Hawaiian fret-sliding flavor, as well as a measure of classical Indian music, easily effects an emotive echo of the human voice that ordinarily fronts Bollywood themes.
Compiler Stuart Ellis' informative liner notes describe these instrumental pop versions of Hindi film hits as the "elevator music of India" and if that's the case, we'd definitely rather be stuck in an elevator in Mumbai than anywhere else. There are 21 rare tracks by a half dozen masterful Bollywood steel string slingers: Van Shipley, Kazi Aniruddha, S. Hazarasingh, Sunil Ganguly, Charanjit Singh (of Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat fame!), and Guatam Dasgupta, recorded between 1962 and 1986.
A completely captivating collection, already one of our favorites among the many great Sublime Frequencies releases. And probably it should be no surprise that, for example, Van Shipley's "Jan Pahechan Ho" from the 1966 film Gunaam immediately gives us Sun City Girls flashbacks...
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