[a]Indian Ropeman[/a] is Brighton-based sitar funkster Sanjiv Sen and on this, his debut album, he’s taken up where even [a]Talvin Singh[/a] leaves off in more fully integrating Indian sounds into the mush and mix of modern dance music. Tablas, flutes and sitars co-exist and jostle along naturally alongside hip-hop, techno, dub, snaky, phat ’70s grooves and samples.
‘Stand Clear’ judders down onto the dancefloor like an Air India jumbo jet making an emergency landing, while ‘Do Not Deviate From Your Present Course’ is the sound of it taking off again. ’66 Meters’ is graced by Shahin Badar, whose vocals were deployed by the Prodigy on ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ in an attempt to mitigate its brute sexism, flecked by small landmine explosions of dub, ‘Dog In The Piano’ nicely scrunches up a Jerky Boys sample while ‘Mission To The Moog’ rounds off Orb-style with a couple of sedentary laps through lunar orbit.
The Ropeman‘s a wee bit too fond of rare groove, and his ‘cheeky’ sitar version of Cream‘s ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’ leaves you lukewarm but these are minor gripes in the face of this musical headcharge. ‘Elephant Sounds’ is a cheerfully apt musical metaphor for ’90s multiculturalism.