Badmarsh & Shri : Signs

Inspired Eastern fusions

Badmarsh & Shri : Signs

7 / 10 Survivors of the so-called 'nu-Asian cool' movement that took place in the late-'90s, Badmarsh And Shri transcended an era where artists' ethnicity was afforded more attention than their actual work.

And we're lucky the duo shrugged off such a superficial trend: an east London DJ and a Bombay-based multi-instrumentalist, they've merged a wealth of ideas and international influences into music that's never worthy, but frequently affecting, both live and on record.

Badmarsh And Shri's second album forms a more reflective sequel to their 1998 debut, 'Dancing Drums'. Here, the title track, 'Signs', is a downtempo Tenor Saw cover and folky vocalist Kathryn Williams lends it her

folky tones.

The most immediate highlights are the tracks where their club influences (and Shri's frenetic bass playing) dominate - especially the bubbling 'Get Up', where original nutter UK Apache twists James Brown raunchiness into an explosion of ragga and classical strings. But gentler moments, like the concluding 'Appa', possess a lasting charm, too.

Playfully innovative, 'Signs' won't make any sweeping generalisations about cultural identity - its chilling, thrilling dance fusions communicate

with everybody.

Arwa Haider

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