Bombay Funk Thrillers


The Funk is So Rubber

“The Bombay Connection, Vol. 1: Funk From Bollywood Action Thrillers” (Various Artists)

The Bombay Connection showcases the sound of the Indian action film of the late 70s and early 80s. Under the influence of films like Shaft and Dirty Harry a new kind of though Indian action film came into being in 1970s India. To match the loud fights and fast chases Indian composers developed a exciting brand of Bollywood funk. Wah-wah guitars, congas and funky moogs were effortlessly blended with tablas, dhols and Indian melody lines. This album compiles 12 (sic) of the best, incredibly original Bollywood Funk grooves, painting scenes of frantic chases through back streets in Bombay, secret plots conceived in subterarian headquarters by fake-moustached vilains and sexy seductive dances by female spies. The 6 panel digipack comes with a colorful 32 page booklet containing well researched info and a wealth of pictures.

the booklet is cool too, full of stills from the Bollywood Thrillers we’ve never even heard of, and a plethora of details about each obscure track.

In this first volume, we dig into the funky, bell-bottomed sounds of Indian action film music form the 1970s and 1980s. We have selected 13 tracks from the golden era of Indian funk, almost all from films that failed at the box office in their time and that are therefore hardly remembered, even in India. … But all of these films – along with the obligatory family drama scenes, comedy sequences and love songs – contained violent and kinky scenes that satiated the public’s thirst for action and sex and set the stage for the exciting funk tunes presented here.

Fun stuff, especially since the music was apparently recorded live in one take, without over-dubs. An amazing feat, since the tunes often shift tempo abruptly, heading into new directions, presumedly to follow the action projected on the screen.

Update: a great album. I’ll have to look for Volume 2.

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