Swaraj :: Future Asian Beat
[times square records ]   review from dimm  

First the beats were untouchable.
Soon, they became too untouchable.
Inevitably they became indestructible.
Now, they are from the future.

Well, that's just splendid. Personally, I'm waiting for the beats to become dangerous so I can write my local congressman.

But once again we are faced with a compilation for the layman. Also note the difference between this cover and the previous Swaraj release. The sweaty man-handler, doubtlessly angry about sanctions, gives way to contemplative cyber-sita. Release date: 9.11. Hmmmmm....

The entire cd has a very urban-techno feel, with one song by Juttla and two other remixes by him, the rest of the album starts to feel one-sided with the same sound (Beatmasters' Mix of State Of Bengal's 'Rama Communication'sounds as if it were done by Juttla) instead of balancing it out with anything truly 'futuristic.'

It does, however, feature rising artists in the digital raag scene such as the aforementioned Juttla, Charged, The Dum Dum Project, and Viragi. Charged has some fine work to their name, and the Dum Dum Project shows promise, but I have yet to hear anything that really piques my interest from Juttla. Maybe I'm just not cool enough to 'get it,' but who knows, in time I may develop a taste for their bass-driven concrete jungle sound. Only time will tell.

UPDATE #1: you know, i have to admit, some of the joints are growing on me, so i'm bumping the rating up from 2.5 stars to 3. (i can do that, it's my website)...

UPDATE # 2: my boy seb was in town recently and i told him that having a brand (the cyber-sita from this cd cover) be pirated on tshirts in thailand and vinyl slipmats with no affiliation back to swaraj was the single most important step in moving this shit forward. big ups.

ethnotechno rating: 3 out of 5
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  1. Homelands (Coldcut Mix) :: Nitin Sawhney (pick)
  2. Shabba Rock (T.J. Rehmi Mix) :: Trilok Gurtu
  3. Bionic Beats :: Juttla
  4. Bang :: Badmarsh And Shri (pick)
  5. Real Wild Child (Juttla Mix) :: Wayward Soul
  6. I Love You :: Charged
  7. Jaani Jaan :: The Dum Dum Project
  8. Absent Minded :: Maad Ethics
  9. Pollution :: Fun-Da-Mental (pick)
  10. Non-Violence :: T.J. Rehmi (pick)
  11. Rama Communication (Beatmasters Radio Mix) :: State Of Bengal
  12. How Much Reality Can You Take? (Juttla Mix) :: Banco De Gaia (pick)
  13. The Seven Heads Of Propaganda :: Viragi