Essential Asian Flavas vol 2
[outcaste]   review from shree  

Asian Flavas, definitely.
Essential? Probably not.
More like Bhangra-Indipop Crossover Hits Vol. 225. Not that this compilation is that bad, but do we really need to hear the soundtrack to the Peugeot ad one more damn time?

After getting through the first four tracks you won't be faulted for assuming that the 'thumbi' has taken over as 2003's instrument of choice. Here's why:

Dum Dum Project's Sean Dinsmore (DJ Cavo) has been pushing the Desi vibes both live as well as on wax for some time now (check 2001's Export Quality). I remember catching DDP in Vienna two years ago when they were playing to a half empty venue. Fab show. Things have really taken off ever since The1Shanti joined the ranks. A South Asian MC who can actually flow? Believe it. Peep his skills on the soon-to-be classic "Punjabi 5-0" - don't sleep on this cat.

Word is that dancehall superstar Wayne Wonder was so impressed with producer of the moment Rishi Rich's "Nachna Tere Naal" (aka "Dance With You") that he offered to do a remix. Here, in its original form, a funky ass bhangra-r&b hybrid that's been packing dancefloors all across Europe since the summer. In the same vein as Rishi's re-workings of Craig David ("Rise and Fall" and "Spanish") and Britney, but only far, far superior. The next three tunes are your run-of-the-mill Bhangra/Indian-pop fodder that has zero appeal to the average ET.com listener, including one by the late Shazia Manzoor. The Kwanzaa track is another skip-worthy number - its only redeeming quality is the Punditz-esque ("Chandni Chowk") tabla loop.

But post-track-seven is where the true value of this compilation lies. Badmarsh & Shri have a created a vocal lounge epic with the excellent "Day By Day," re-tweaked by Chris Coco. "Streets" is my favorite one on here; Nitin Sahwney's mastery of classical-electronic wizadry is in full effect. Next up is the aforementioned music to the Peugeot jingle, "Husan." This was great the first 200 times (in a week) that I had heard it with the Bhangra Knights adding a four-to-the-floor house rhythm. Any more compilation appearances and it runs the risk of going the "Mundian To Bachke" way. Zeb's dubby, Indo-fied (via NYC) basslines on "Bombay Mix" will have you sashaying in no time, martini in hand. 4 Hero are close to gods in the drum n' bass scene so imagine my surprise to find them on here, closing out the disc in extreme chilled fashion.

Unless you are an absolute newbie (in which case, this will be a decent intro to such sounds), save your dough for the upcoming "Nasha: Drum & Breaks" release for an insight into what the British Asian scene really is...

ethnotechno rating: 3 out of 5
buy now

  1. Dum Dum Project featuring The1Shanti :: Punjabi 5-0 (pick)
  2. Panjabi MC :: Jogi (pick)
  3. Rishi Rich featuring Jay Sean & Juggy D :: Dance With You
  4. Mykel Angel :: Hathi Mere Sathi
  5. Shazia Manzoor :: Aoja Sohneya
  6. DJ Vix :: Lakh De Hulare
  7. Kwanzaa Posse :: Punjabi Dreams
  8. Badmarsh & Shri :: Day By Day (Chris Coco Remix)
  9. Marco 'Polo' Cecere presents :: Indian Model (Jet Bar Mix)
  10. Nitin Sawhney :: Streets
  11. Bhangra Knights Vs. Husan :: Husan (pick)
  12. Zeb :: Bombay Mix
  13. Trellis :: Habibi Gajuna
  14. 4 Hero :: Conceptions