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Cheb i Sabbah Devotion

DJ/producer Cheb i Sabbah is the most recognizable force in America’s contribution to Eastern-inspired electronica: recognizable enough to become a victim of his own success. Sabbah’s trademark sound of Indian and North African classical music restaged within atmospheric dance music has become a cliché. But for Devotion, Cheb i Sabbah heads his critics off at the pass by returning to South Asia, site of his most successful inspirations. His resultant collaborators–devotional singers such as Rana Singh and Anup Jalota–keep Devotion more “global” than “beats,” and in doing so, making it more palatable to both listeners and dancers, who recognize that South Asian rhythms need little enhancement to make the floor shake.

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