Putumayo Presents: Asian Groove
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About a generation ago, South Asian immigrants living in the bleak, industrial British city of Birmingham invented an ethnic-based brand of party music. Today's young ravers have upped the ante, drawing on percussive Punjabi bhangra and qawwali, an ecstasy-inducing Pakistani devotional style made famous by the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. These are then festooned with defiantly artificial canned snares and ambient electronics, plus absurdist quotes from Bollywood musicals, saccharine Euro-pop, and over-the-top lounge clichés. The resulting polyglot pastiches tend to be fashioned in broad strokes and are thus not ideal for quiet living room listening. However, they are BPM nirvana when experienced in a nightclub with a few hundred other blissed-out, glassy-eyed dancers. That said, these are fascinating examples of one of the world's more subtly subversive underground movements, where music is being made by and for populations who prefer to assimilate only so much and on their own terms. --Christina Roden
Top customer reviews
Repeated listening highlights some annoying cliché tracks and others that are quite enjoyable.
While not being a "must have' album, it provides an OK introduction to a variety of artists, which if you like can explore further.