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World Music CD Reviews South Asia

Various Artists

By Justin Hopper
Published March 30, 2007

The Asian Club Night
Lola’s World

Most South Asian club-music compilations concentrate on loungey, upscale sounds more akin to downtempo trip-hop, with sitars and Bollywood-style vocals thrown over the top. This collection is split into “lounge” and “club” discs, yet largely avoids this pitfall, with DJ Ralph Von Richthoven’s selections on even the lounge disc including bigger Asian-bashment sounds like “Dil Chura Liya” by Kavita Sohant, Dee Gill & Sharon’s (remixed by Panjabi Hit Squad). But while the occasional ho-hum Portishead-with-tablas sound emerges on disc one, the “club” disc hits hard and leaves little to be desired. Bhangra-night regulars may be disappointed by the mainstream-ness: Juggy D., Midival Punditz, and world superstar Panjabi MC are practically household names. But the casual fan looking to bolster a comp-heavy collection could do a lot worse than to blast J12’s “Shake,” or Bally Sagoo’s classic “Bindiya Chamke Gi,” with the car windows down on a hot Saturday night.