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World Music CD Reviews South Asia

Bombay Dub Orchestra

By Robert Kaye
Published October 16, 2008

3 Cities
Six Degrees Records

For those unfamiliar with its successful debut, the Bombay Dub Orchestra is the brainchild of London-based producers Garry Hughes and Andrew T. Mackay. On its much-anticipated follow-up recording, listeners are again treated to aromatic orchestrations created by traditional Indian instruments, vocals and rhythms that are further enhanced by state-of-the-art production techniques, courtesy of Hughes and Mackay. The album takes the listener on musical excursions through Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Chennai and other faraway lands, as is the case with “Egypt By Air.” While in India, and then during recording sessions in the U.K., BDO employed some of the best Indian musicians and vocalists available—and it shows. Some songs such as “Journey,” with its melismatic vocals, string arrangements, grand piano and bansuri, are decidedly chill-out numbers. Others like the percolating “Monsoon Malabar” beckon dancing. Regardless of its style, each track features stellar performances and imaginative studio wizardry.