I feel like I have been waiting my whole life for someone to make a mix of the best Desi Disco tracks from 70s/80s Bollywood movies, and finally it has arrived!
Well, perhaps not my whole life, more like the last 5 or 6 years, or certainly ever since discovering the wonderful work of Bappi Lahiri via MIA’s cover of his classic “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja” in 2007. A few years ago I put together a YouTube playlist of some of my favourite Bollywood disco clip, which you can check out here, though unfortunately a lot of those clips have since been removed.
Not “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja”, though, which has since become a staple of my dj sets, and which I am going to post here now for no other reason than it’s awesome, and to say that if you haven’t seen it, then you need to:
Bappi Lahiri & Parvati Khan “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja”
As some of the YouTube commenters have pointed out, this track bears more than just a passing resemblance to Ottawan’s “T’es OK” (Bappi Lahiri was well known for his liberal “interpretations” of other people’s music) but I’m willing to overlook that as this version is just so much better.
Bollywood can at times seem pretty impenetrable for Western audiences, but it operates at such a high level of over the top camp that i’s pretty irresistable for lovers of kitsch. I’m still a bit mystified as to why Bollywood isn’t more celebrated within the gay community, but hopefully as the internet gives access to more and more of these films and their soundtracks, the audience will grow.
So praise be to Glasgow dj Hushpuppy then, for putting together an hour of his favourite Bollywood disco/soundtrack moments for all of our ears. Rest assured there’s plenty of Bappi Lahiri on this mix (full tracklisting available here.) This mix is not definitive (which would be impossible, I think) and represents only the very tip of the Bollywood disco-funk iceberg, so I expect to see more djs busting out the Desi Disco in the near future. For now, let’s dig those New Delhi Disco Chicks:
There’s plenty more esoteric, exotic excellence on Hushpupppy’s Mixcloud page, including his great Weird Sounds In The Bath House series. Check it out here.