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