Talvin Singh :: OK
[polygram]   review from dimm  

Indians have had tough time gaining acceptance in the UK. Brits on the whole barely tolerate Indians, and if there are any Brits reading this who take offense, just ask your mum or dad if Indians are a 'loved' immigrant group in the UK in the 60s.

Having said that, the cultural divide that Indians faced in the UK was a direct catalyst for the asian underground movement. Just as rai in Algeria and rap, rock and jazz in the US grew from ignored communities, so too did the asian underground movement find roots in the br-asian communities. It's only when 'whitey' takes notice does the world pay any attention...

Just kidding.

OK is Talvin's follow-up to Calcutta Cyber Cafe and Anokha, where he solidifies his sound in the asian underground scene, but hints of the asian massive movement are evident in tracks such as "Butterfly" and "Light." But critics who would be annoyed with his next release, Ha, really never understood Talvin or where he was coming from based on this album.

So what's the difference between "underground" & "massive?" Beyond the obvious that the terms are media-driven boxes, they mean exactly what they say: one sound is palatable to a sub culture while another is more appealing to a wider audience. Some tracks on OK are abstract in contrast to a more lucid method as later musicians in the US would attempt. But we may see more abstract music coming from these very musicians further into their careers. Perhaps Talvin was ahead of the curve, and why the British Association of Record Dealers granted him the Mercury Prize in 1999 for this release.

Guest artists Cleveland Watkiss, Bill Laswell, Madras Philharmonic Orchestra and Nenes appear.

ethnotechno rating: 4 out of 5
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  1. Traveller
  2. Butterfly (pick)
  3. Sutrix
  4. Mombasstic
  5. Decca
  6. Eclipse
  7. OK (pick)
  8. Light (pick)
  9. Disser/Point. Mento.B
  10. Soni
  11. Vikram the Vampire (pick)