After more than ten years of Basement Bhangra, founder and resident DJ Rekha has finally put out a CD compilation. Unlike a lot of Desi DJs who put out illegal bootleg remix CDs, Rekha has waited to do it official-style. A fully-licensed, fully-legal domestic Bhangra compilation, with several exclusives that I have really enjoyed hearing in her sets over the last year. 99% of what passes for a Bhangra compilation in the States these days is usually not even Bhangra, (more like lame-ass German-produced wannabe “Indian” bilge water electronica) or if it is, it is hopelessly tame, lame, outdated and underwhelming. If you want to hear some real Bhangra (along with some Desi beats) without having to order a pile of CDs from outside the country with the weak-ass American dollar, this is the album you want to pick up. Be forewarned that this is not an unmixed compilation, and some of the songs are cut short and end abruptly.
Rekha is the reason that Bhangra exists in the American mainstream cultural awareness to any extent. No one else in America has been doing more to showcase the cultural power, relevance and vitality of Bhangra on the national scene. Here is to another ten years.