Twelve long years have passed since Portishead first unleashed Dummy upon an unsuspecting world, tapping into a deep, hitherto unnoticed craving for ethereal female vocals over moody, noir-tinged tracks with sophisticated electronic production and hip-hop beats. Eight years after Portishead’s final album, the revelatory PNYC Live, where can one turn to satisfy this peculiar, overly specific jones?
Well, if you’re willing to forgo the extraordinary Portishead scratching in favor of some sitar and don’t mind your spy movie music taking on an Austin Powers vibe, I suggest you give Anjali a try.
Formerly the drummer in UK Riot Grrl band the Voodoo Queens, Anjali Bhatia now claims descent from the Bhatti line of maharajas of Jaisalmer. Whether that’s true or not, her music has ventured as far from Riot Grrl radicalism as her identity. One can hear traces not only of UK trip-hop, but also of Cibo Matto and other late-nineties electronic experimenters, not to mention heavy doses of Anglo-Indian fusion, tinged with old-fashioned Bollywood goodness.