Asian underground legend hits the decks
This coffee-table thing has obviously got legs. We’re already up to Volume 8 of
impeccably hip mix-CD series, ‘Back To Mine’, where big hitters from the more
mature side of the dancefloor invite us back to their gaff to, like, chill out,
Following in the footsteps of Morcheeba and Faithless, it’s Talvin Singh’s turn
at the Technics, and pretty good it is too. Craig Armstrong’s billowing, tense
‘Weather Storm’ is a bit of an odd opener – perhaps Talvin ends most nights out
rowing with his missus in the street – but he soon finds his groove. U Srinivas
and Michael Brook’s ‘Dance’ may be an acquired taste, but its seemingly endless
psychedelic undulations set a mood of faintly strung-out flight that’s
carefully cultivated throughout. Such mix CDs normally sound cobbled together;
this, however, is very 5am in its slow, fuzzy trickery.
Global synthesis is Singh’s game and so, naturally, we find Photek sharing
groove space with West African legend Ali Farka Toure. In following common sonic
threads between them, Singh allows his base influences time and space to work
their exotic magic. It’s in contrast to Singh’s own work, where the grand concept
of global musical fusion often seems to take precedence over concentrating the
impact of the Eastern and Western sounds.
It won’t frighten the horses then, but Talvin Singh’s ‘Back To Mine’ certainly
creates a unique atmosphere.