Vinyl Double LP £17.49 FKR052LP
2LP on Finders Keepers.
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CD £9.99 FKR052CD
CD on Finders Keepers.
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Finders Keepers compilations are always a rewarding and indulgent listen, and this collection of tracks from Bollywood horror film scores is no exception. The spooky edge is totally up my street, too. As you'd imagine, these are pretty accessible cuts without a lot of melody and charm. When things do get creepy it tends to be in a Morricone-esque way but in places it does go for some all-out Goblin-style shocks, like in Sapan Jagmohan's theme from Andhera, which features some daringly overdriven synth blasts. By the joyous and bombastic standards of Bollywood music, though, this is a subdued and spooky mix. It turns out that they also like using synthesiser textures for their horror scores, but some of the arrangements are quite dense and orchestral. There's a Bappi Lahiri offering that builds tension over the course of six or seven minutes until it sounds almost like something straight out of an early Bond film. Some of the more upbeat tracks here would make great chase music. The majority of these cuts are from the '70s and '80s, and it's pretty cool to see how they were using cutting-edge electronic sounds to do just as interesting things as their Western contemporaries. Take Usha Kanna's experimental disco-funk from the film 'Hotel', for example. Another particularly interesting piece is Khemchand Prakash's 'Dance Music' from Mahal, which sounds astonishingly up-to-date when you consider the film's 1949 release! I think my one complaint here would be that there's a 20-year gap between this track and the second-oldest on the collection - perhaps a separate pre-'70s compilation would give a better overview of the musical development between the two eras as it seems a little incongruous on its own here like this. That's a petty complaint when faced with a compilation of this quality, though, with a wonderfully haunting offering from R.D. Burman rounding off the 22 tracks beautifully. Can't recommend this highly enough.
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