Twin Sister

Orientalism: A Mix of Indian Film Music

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My father, an emigrant who left India in 1991, collected all of these songs over the years, digitizing old tapes, ripping CD's from midwestern libraries, and spending long nights reclaiming bits and pieces of a past life via a 28.8 kbps modem connection. Some of them are really bad quality rips, but I guess that emphasizes the distance these songs have had to travel to make it here.

The songs themselves are mostly taken from the 70s, a heady time for Bollywood films and their music.  Growing up in a house where I only really heard this music through the conduit of late night tipsy singalongs, I've had minimal exposure to the recordings themselves.  Listening to them again now, what's clear is how amazingly weird some of the sounds are.  Moog synthesizers, surf rock guitars, big band inspired horns, and a distinctly Indian rhythm section and sense of melody make for some really interesting experiments.  The giant who stands over most of this is RD Burman, as he had a hand in writing, producing, and performing in almost every song on the mix.  So, if this music is new to you, and you like what you hear, he is the best place to start.  The tracklist is below:

  • RD Burman/Asha Bhosle - Mera Naam Hai Shabnam (Kati Patang)
  • Kishore Kumar/Asha Bhosle - Nahin Nahin Abhi Nahin (Jawani Diwani)
  • Kishore Kumar/Lata Mangeshkar - Wada Karo(Aa Gale Lag Ja)
  • Asha Bhosle - Reshmi Ujala Hai (Sharmilee)
  • RD Burman - Mehbooba O Mehbooba (Sholay)
  • Asha Bhosle/Usha Iyer - Dum Maro Dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna)
  • Kishore Kumar/Asha Bhosle - Aap Ke Kamre Mein (Yaadon Ki Baraat)
  • Kishore Kumar/Lata Mangeshkar - Mile Mile Do Badan (Blackmail)
  • RD Burman/Asha Bhosle - Meri Jaan Maine Kaha (The Train)
  • Mukesh - Woh Tere Pyar Ka Gham (My Love)
  • Kishore Kumar/Asha Bhosle - Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (Bullet)
  • Asha Bhosle - Yeh Mera Dil Pyar Ka Deewana (Don)
  • Nazia Hassan - Aap Jaisa Koi (Qurbani)
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