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Various Artists
ROUGH GUIDE TO THE ASIAN UNDERGROUND
World Music Network

By MARTY LIPP

Published May 2, 2006

Most cultural-specific music has been handed down over generations, with its origins attenuated into the fog of unwritten history. That’s one of the reasons the Asian Underground is so exciting: while it borrows from parent cultures, it’s essentially a new phenomenon. The music is created by first- and second-generation South Asians in London. Often unaccepted by the dominant white culture, they began creating their own electronic-based music sprinkled with ancestral influences. Eventually a dance-club circuit emerged, soundtracked by artists such as State of Bengal, Fun-Da-Mental and Talvin Singh. The music is gleamingly modern, but its distinctiveness comes from linking South Asian elements within an electronic aural tapestry. Asian Dub Foundation breaks through the house tracks with its unlikely combination of joy, anger, drum ’n’ bass and punk. With few other digressions, this collection reinvents ancient sounds.

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