To clarify for the reader, the tapes from which this compilation was assembled weren’t lost. A buddy of the compiler found them in a box on the sidewalk on garbage day in Lisbon. One stranger’s trash, however, proved to be a treasure chest for Portuguese DJ, documentarian and digger of crates Eduardo Morais, aka Death Disco Disaster.
The rescued cassettes were a randomized review of Bollywood in the early ’90s – an interesting period for filmi, India’s cinematic pop music. The cheesy disco had been discarded, the anarchic invention and appropriation of the ’80s firmed up into a more formal code, and production quality was on an upswing.
Synths were ubiquitous by that point, and they’re all over Abhijeet’s robo-calypso “Pum Pum Pum”, Anu Malik’s two fluorescent electro-funk items, and several also from Bappi Lahiri, a Bollywood synth pioneer. These include the sly “O Lal Dupatte Wali”, the hilarious “Kisi Ko Daulat Ki Tension Tension”, and in a more “classic” Bollywood vein, the bouncy “Chhan Chhan Baje Ghungroo”. On a similar tip is the fraternal duo Anand-Milind’s spellbinding “Meri Tirchi Nazar Mein”, sung by Alka Yagnik.
Morais has done a solid job of selecting the best tracks from the box, fortifying the mixes, and dicing and splicing just enough to make the material work well in an awesome-mix-tape context.