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World Music CD Reviews Asia & Far East

Various Artists

By Robert Kaye
Published January 16, 2008

American Bhangra
Taunk Enterprises

Things Indian are becoming more and more integrated into the U.S. mainstream lately: MTV has created an entire channel dedicated to the immigrant culture, MTV Desi, while popular nightclubs now feature Punjabi dance music. This album is a next step. Produced by Mandeep Taunk and featuring contributions from a variety of artists, including Pindi Sandhu, Sukhvir Sukh, Josh Raja, Tony Khatkar, and others experienced in the desi dance world, American Bhangra thumps with Indian-flavored rhythms and instrumentation, mixed in with DJ-influenced techno. There’s nothing new here that hasn’t already taken a strong foothold in London’s dance club scene it’s just now migrated over to the colonies. Some tracks are decidedly more hip-hop, such as “Tere Ishq Soniye” and “Nachie Sarkare,” with their American rapper-style taunts full of bravado, yet the tracks still maintain a primary bhangra feel. “Yaarran Naal Baharaan” remains more authentically Indian, melding folk-like elements with turntable machismo.