Like Japanese cars in the ’70s, we are suddenly being flooded by all types of South Asian musical fusions. Bill Laswell has been doing it for years; we’re suddenly being exposed to Brit old timers like Nitin Sawhney and Talvin Singh; and Karsh Kale, Navdeep, etc., are leading the American assault. But these are the vanguard and all good. There’s some real crap out there, and one has to keep an eye out.
Take Kabul Workshop, for example. This is so far from crap it couldn’t fertilize a Catholic woman during the Baby Boom. Khaled Arman and Fransesco Russo have teamed up to make Trigana an exquisitely excellent album. Of course, 97.785% of the Asian Underground/Massive sound is Indian classical mixed with drum ‘n bass. The Workshop is really not much different. However, with amazing transitions, a unique ear and style, and high levels of skill, this multiculti duo have truly crafted an album that’s not easily forgotten. “Dance,” for example, combines the amazingly disparate Brazil beat, Blaxploitation funk, and Indian classical into a driving hybrid that forces you to do what the title commands. The entire album is a colorful collage of different styles and flavors that are blended into a vindaloo of breathtaking flavor. Arman and Russo are true chefs who have gotten the fusion thing down and will be franchising their unique recipes to a stereo near you.
Tinder Records: http://www.tinderrecords.com