Another extreme is reached in the almost good-times sound of sitarman Ashwin Batish, master of the classical sitar turned techno-pop kind on Sitar Power II (Batish, 1310 Mission St., Santa Cruz, Ca 95060 408-423-1699. e-mail: info [at] batish.com), his wildly eclectic follow-up album that was almost five years in the making. You have to understand a little about the Batish clan: Firmly rooted in the new world of California, his family has a long history as traditional musicians and singers back home in Bombay. There's nothing subtle or folkie about these recordings, though. They are full tilt pop, closely following Indian modes and rhythms, but rife with sequencers and drum machines in among the tablas and sitar. This stuff should drive the traditionalist in me crazy, but Batish has not only a sense of history but a sense of humor that comes roaring through each and every track. You gotta love his take on a raga 'Pahadi' called "Cowboys and Indian," where he 'discovers' the Indo roots of blue-grass. This record is not for the serious world music fanatic, just for fans of good pop music with a personal twist.