Will Hermes
September 05, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Rain

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
Producers
ECM

We gave it an A-

That Jay-Z/Panjabi MC joint has made East Indian sounds hot again. But the last time it happened, via the Beatles and Ravi Shankar, the music was more about the chilling than the dancing. These deep live improvisations by Ghazal — sitarist Shujaat Husain Khan, spike fiddle virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, and tabla drummer Sandeep Das –recall the days when your mom studied the lava lamp on the rec-room floor while listening to side 1 of ”The Concert for Bangla Desh” on auto-repeat. The exchanges combine Persian and Hindustani classical styles, often in a ricocheting call-and-response mode, with Kalhor picking rapid-fire pizzicato lines to answer Khan’s heady note flurries. It’s trance music that may make you renounce Paul Oakenfold.

BINDI ROCK Those seeking flashier Indian flava should check the cinematic pop on The Best of Bollywood (Hip-O).

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