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Ananda Shankar Sa-Re-Ga Machan

For most Americans, Ananda Shankar is India's token crossover artist. His surprise "hit" album, Ananda Shankar and His Music, has been sampled to bits, providing (among other things) loose inspiration for the Bollywood strings on pop-jams like Britney Spears' "Toxic." But there's more to Shankar than sampling his Music, as proved by Sa-Re-Ga Machan, his once-rare follow-up. Tracks like "Charging Tiger" begin with straight-up weirdness-big drums plod back and forth over super-tense dissonant strings. Then, without any warning, the track jumps into a funky sitar workout. Huh? If this is what a tiger attack is really like, maybe I'll strap a steak to my back and hit the zoo.

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