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World Music CD Reviews Electronica

SIMONEX

By William Bloomhuff
Published June 22, 2006

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Compression Records

Those of you who associate Indian film music with frantic, kitschy riffs and echo-chamber vocals had better listen up. Producing more than 800 films a year, India keeps its composers busy, with contemporary music there based almost entirely on soundtracks. Keyboardist A.R. Rahman has been the reigning king of this genre for some time and this collection is a compilation of some of his best sonic tapestries. Rahman keeps busy. He has created more than thirty-five CDs, most selling over a million copies each. The tracks here are downright marvelous. They rock, roll, glide, and pummel with percussion and strings from India—an absolute feast. He embraces Western instrumentation and nuance but stays true to the classical Hindi motifs. Rahman works with the most fabulous singers as well. Although there's a great cross section of Rahman's career here, the extraordinary Dil Se and Mission Kashmir soundtracks have been overlooked. The packaging includes some terrific liner notes as well. This would be an excellent intro to this type of filmi music, and a precious jewel for those already converted.