`Balle balle' goes global

WHAT DO the latest albums of Nelly Furtado, Britney Spears, Outlandish, and the soundtrack of the movie Boom have in common? One or more songs in these albums have incorporated the sounds of the Indian Bhangra genre of music with the vocals.

Nelly Furtado's new video single, "Powerless", is a "Josh India Mix" of Nelly's vocals set to the beats of dholak, flute, and tabla.

The Desi Kulcha Mix of Britney Spears' new song is another example of a phenomenon that was triggered off by the tracks in the Boom soundtrack. "Mundiyan Tho Bachke", a song by Panjabi MC that is featured in this album, went on to become a runaway success — both in the Indian and the international club scene. In recent weeks, mainstream icons of modern pop are incorporating Bhangra to pump up the energy of their songs. Keeping this trend in mind, EMI Music, in association with MTV, has released an album titled MTV Indian Grooves (CD, Rs. 350). Music with "Dhol, Bhangra and Beyond" is what the album promises, and lives up. Featuring 14 tracks that were released over the last couple of years, the album is a mix of vocal and instrumental tracks.

Bands like State of Bengal, Sonic Gurus, and Shiva Sound-System have gained appeal in the world music and lounge music genres of music A few unreleased tracks in India like MIDIval Punditz's "Bhangra Fever" and Asian Dub Foundation's "Dhol Rinse" have infective rhythms .

Bhangra seems to be finding its place in the international arena of popular music.