Ottawa-based bhangra beat ensemble Galitcha release their second CD as a more travelled and globally inspired collective than on their 2002 debut, Satrang. Led by charismatic and hirsute frontman Kuljit Sodhi, Galitcha continue their North Indian folkways on trad compositions like Chuk Dhay and Ik Mela, sung in Punjabi over dholki percussion. There's also a formidable francophone presence, courtesy of guest star Yves Lambert (La Bottine Souriante), who lays down some sweeping accordion and français vox on Blé D'Inde and J'entends Le Moulin that mixes nicely with Shawn Mativetsky's tabla work. The album's most incongruous song is The Road To Bamako, an English-sung plaintive ode to orphaned children in Mali, recently visited by the band . It's a strong and affecting piece, a detour from the album's overall festive path.
Galitcha launch their CD at Lula Lounge tonight (Thursday, October 26).