Ramasutra El Pipo Del Taxi EP

It’s hard to take Ramachandra Borcar (aka Ramasutra) seriously. On one hand, he’s one of the few young South Asians in this country taking chances with Indian music, mixing it up with electronics, funk, rock, etc. On the other, his tracks always have a trashy, porn-soundtrack vibe to them and tend to put forward South Asian culture in a stereotypically exotica lite. Though the Montreal DJ/producer hasn’t drifted far from these aesthetic choices, he’s definitely writing better songs since we last heard him on The East Infection. The five-track El Pipo del Taxi EP is humorous, kitschy but also surreal, especially when you hear elements from different cultures chasing each other around in Borcar’s mix. "The Curse of the Eye” drives a mean blaxploitation-style bass line over Brazilian percussion loops and fragments of the Islamic call to prayer. "Magma Mama” swings skankin’ roots reggae with spaghetti Western pianos and a solo oud; the remix changes costume with cha-cha lines. Classical Indian music fans will either gasp or laugh after hearing Debashish Bhattacharya swooning his slide guitar next to the torchy, nasal seductions of Maria Seebaran on "The Losing Hand.” Like everything else, there’s a cinematic element here, but it’s more Peter Sellers at The Party than Bollywood soul. (Fusion III)