With nothing exciting to show for quite a while, this "hot" new compilation from Outcaste may just be their saving grace. Keeping in mind that this compilation doesn.t solve the basic need for some originality from this label, it does manage to pack a decent-almost-solid (if not powerful) punch.

Tracks / Reviews:

  1. Mundian To Bach Ke (Radio Edit) - Panjabi MC: This song needs no introduction. The huge hit featuring the infamous Knight Rider sample given the Bhangra dose. This song has smashed boundaries all over the world and has been earlier featured on the "American Desi" soundtrack.
  2. Nahin Jeena (Remix) - Rishi Rich: Rishi Rich has always been regarded as a pioneer in this field, constantly stretching the strengths of nu-Bhangra. He has worked with the likes of Bally Sagoo, Udit Narayan and Kavita Krishnamurthy. This track is taken off his recent album "Simply Rich" and blends a simple solid bassline with good sometimes-synthesized vocals.
  3. Yaar Dha - DJ H & Punjabi Outlawz: A groovy punjabi tune, however more punjabi influenced rather than beat-oriented. One of the songs that could have been left out.
  4. Aaja Ni Aaja - Kam Dhillon: Kam Dhillon has been recently hotting up charts with his album releases and his pumped-up parties around the world. This song is a huge hit in the UK and has recently been heard around towns in the US. I'd recommend getting your hands on the video if you can.
  5. Hasdi Hasdi (Hit Squad Mix) - Punjabi Hit Squad: Punjabi Hit Squad have always enjoyed a lot of airplay in the Bhangra scene for their hard hitting bass lines and pumping lyrics. However, they break away from that, and feature a softer song, with beautiful lyrics and soft strings.
  6. Kahendeh Neh Niana (A. Singh & El Nino Mix) - S. Kaliwalia: 22-year old Kaliwalia is definitely a singer to look out for in the future. Armed with a soft voice that reached out to you, she handles this song beautiful. This song is the slowest one in the album.
  7. So Lonely (Afterlife Remix) - Jakatta: Chillout mixer meets UK-House pioneer meets oh-so-soft-and-silky-voiced diva. When Jakatta and Sheila Chandra got together, we had a hit on our hands. Later, Afterlife came over and gave the song a chillout dose.
  8. Signs (Bonobo mix) - Badmarsh & Shri: A remix of the smash hit song "Signs" by the versatile duo Badmarsh+Shri. Their ground breaking album did not feature this remix and its supposed to be a very rare one. Hard snare beats, street-laced samples - rare or not, listen to it.
  9. Tere Bin Nahin Lagda (Partners In Rhyme Mix) - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: This song had attracted me to this album, but I was slightly disappointed by the length of this song. This is not the original cut of the song (the original was featured on the soundtrack of "Bend It Like Beckham") - this one has a smaller intro and outro. Other than that, this song features the renowned Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Coventry's own Partners in Rhyme.
  10. Neelaa - Trickbaby: Good beat, builds along well. Tends to get a little repetitive though.
  11. Punjabi - Nitin Sawhney: Taken from his first album "Migration", this is a good downtempo-Bhangra song which shows the temperament of Nitin Sawhney as a composer. He continues to amaze.
  12. Istanbul 1:26 A.M. - Orient Expressions: Put in to satisfy those with the middle eastern palates. A good song but it stands out a bit from the scene that this compilation is trying to cater to.
  13. In The Garden - Bollywood Breaks: I did not understand why this song was included in this album. The only reason I could come up with was that Outcaste wanted to advertise their cd "Bollywood Breaks Sampler". This song is definitely the odd one out in this album and could best have been left out.
  14. Miracle - Craig Armstrong featuring Swati Natekar: A fitful ending to this compilation. Swati Natekar handles it beautifully with the masterful tapestry of music from Craig Armstrong.

Overall, this album is a good addition to those who're looking to get the latest low-down into the nu-Bhangra/Hip Hop/DholnBass scene in the UK. It almost deserves a 8/10, but it was a let down with a couple of the songs being out of sync and my reason for buying the CD ("Tere Bin Nahi Lagda") being a shorter version of the immensely captivating original.

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