Inspired Eastern fusions
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
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