The Rough Guide to the Asian Underground

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: World Music Network
WORKS: The Rough Guide to the Asian Underground
PERFORMER: Various artists
CATALOGUE NO: RGNET 1096

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ROUGH GUIDES’ latest title reads like salvation for travellers lost in the chaos of building the Delhi Metro, but it refers to a phenomenon as British as Birmingham bhangra.

This is the studio-led movement that propelled Talvin Singh, Joi and State of Bengal into a clubbers’ limelight and eventually a mainstream one – it’s hardly underground now – carrying live bands such as Asian Dub Foundation, FunDaMental and ShivaNova along with it.

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Most of the big names and big beats are represented and show how the creative ferment is alive and well. A lively informal history of the scene written by DJ Ritu, one of its key players, backs up the head-spinning music.