Tantra Lounge 3 / Various


aec.wtrm952.2 5/22/09 New
$11.89 $13.99

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Review Text What used to be called the Asian underground -- a mainly British scene comprised of South Asian musicians experimenting with wild and varied fusions of bhangra, electronica, drum'n'bass, house, and hip-hop -- has been irretrievably fractured and diluted for years now, and so much the better. As the original Asian underground itself demonstrated, stylistic purity is the enemy of innovation, and as the scene has dissipated its influence has been spread worldwide. The third installment in the Water Music label's Tantra Lounge series demonstrates again how broadly the principles of funky East-West fusion have spread: artists include Asian underground godfather Talvin Singh (who gives Najma Akhtar's "Ghoom Charakhana" a slow and seductive club mix), upstart duo MIDIval PunditZ (whose funky yet contemplative "Rebirth" showcases the sitar playing of Anoushka Shankar), and the intercontinental trio Niyaz (whose "Nahan" was one of the highlight tracks of their eponymous debut album). The program generally steers clear of dense or frenetic drum'n'bass beats in favor of darker, slower, more mystical fare, but the beats are sturdy and more than danceable if that's your inclination. Very highly recommended, along with the other volumes in this series. ~ Rick Anderson

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