Apart from looking a little bit like Jabba The Hutt, the main claim to fame of Indian film score don Bappi Lahiri is the fact that he was largely responsible for popularising the use of disco music in Hindi films both in the seventies when disco was king in the western world and on into the eighties when it was king in a more easterly direction. Apparently, some Bollywood film producer was rash enough to mention that he wanted “to have music like ‘Saturday Night Fever’” to Lahiri. What ensued was a decade of tabla-fied, sitar-drenched four-to-the-floor musical accompaniment not just for disco-themed Bollywood fare but for all Bollywood genres from the ‘curry western’ to the ‘naan-noir.’
For ‘Bombay Disco’ (or to give it’s full title Bombay Disco – Disco Hits From Hindi Films 1975-1985) DJ Brother Cleve has dug up twelve deep classics from the heyday of what I’m coming to think of as ‘Bollywood Boogie.’ Feel love for Mausam Hai Gaane Ka with its Donna Summer-esque opening, get down to the frenetic shuffling drums and wah-wah of Hum To Aap Ke Deeware Hein or strut the electric slide to my favourite – the Asha Bhosle-featuring Udi Baba. Among others. In fact thirteen tracks to be precise. There’s also a limited 12″ featuring a bonus track that isn’t on the LP and an edit of Udi Baba – cop this and the LP and you’ll be brimful of Asha. Thank you, I’m here all week.
(Out 4 March on Cultures Of Soul)