Bappi Lahiri is an Indian legend who’s currently making waves here in the States. On the subcontinent, Lahiri has composed the scores for almost 400 films in the last five decades (and you thought you were tired of Newman, Williams and Elfman). Here, the man’s making waves for suing over Truth Hurts’ Indo-funk hit, “Addictive.” Taking advantage of the Indo-American remix culture, Lahiri has just released Bappiwood Remixes. Not being desi by any means, I don’t know how this take on his own work is playing over here. However, as a Westerner, I hope Bappi does better in the courtroom than he did in the studio.
Maybe techno is still the shit in Hindustan. I don’t know. If so, I do hope it’s a bit more updated than what’s on this disc. Lahiri’s heyday was some 20 years ago, and it shows. The man mixes his filmi sound with European techno that was hot over a decade ago (when the genre was nothing but warmed-over house that had gone bad in your refrigerator). The sounds are stale and tired. Out of the 10 remixes here, only “Dil” (with its passable take on rap), “Kuch Ko Dil Karta Hai” (an odd R&Bish track with Zapp-ish touches) and “Dil To Dil Hai” are even passable.
Bappiwood is an opportunity missed. As DJ Quick has proven with “Addictive,” a lot of Bollywood music could work very well among hip-hop and dance fans over here in the right hands. Lahiri really should’ve sought out someone who’s more in touch with today’s dance music reality, someone like Surinder Rattan, Nitin Sawhney or Navdeep. They would’ve given Bappi the fresh sound he was probably seeking for this CD•instead of producing this compost sound even Bally Sagoo would’ve gladly left buried. Hell, even Karsh Kale could’ve done a better job•if he would even lower himself to touch the “filth” of Bollywood.