Various Artists Nitin Sawhney:Fabriclive 15
- Words: Tyra Bangs
- Label: Fabric
In the mid-'90s acts like Asian Dub Foundation and Talvin Singh expanded the minds of electronic music listeners via combining traditional Indian instrumentation with modern-day sampler trickery. But despite successfully turning some clubbers onto world music, the tag "Asian underground" became its own caste system; soon, it was hard to envisage the music without visions of trance travelers twirling in your head. On Fabriclive 15, Nitin Sawhney mostly steers clear of swirling tablas and hackneyed "ethnic" moments in favor of cutting-edge beats that subtly reference the Indian subcontinent. The mix trudges through a grey landscape of remixes of and by Sawhney, but emerges on the dancefloor, as Phuturistix and Darqwan deliver bass-heavy two-step pressure and Niraj Chag and the Visionary Underground turn in manic, and truly under-the-radar, Hindi drum & bass. You won't find any of the ultra-clubby, hip-hop pulse of British bhangra here-Sawhney opts for what could be called a mature take on tronics. Nevertheless, this figurehead once again proves that the Asian underground is still utterly relevant.
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