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Pathaan, World Peace (Stoned Asia Music)
With the timely World Peace, Pathaan of Stoned Asia Music has produced a real labour of love and set a standard for Asian-influenced dance compilations that will be hard to match. Efforts will be made though, there is a well-spring of talent in this area, and with the support of Stoned Asia and like-minded projects, they are demanding to be heard. However, if you are new to this growing sector of dance, this is the place to start. Abhijit Pohankar, MIDIval Punditz, Kaya Project, the Spy from Cairo, Lumo, the Dum Dum Project featuring MC Chori Salaa, Ikarus, or Chiller Twist may not exactly be household names, but the sounds they are conjuring up presage the possibility of a genuine multiculturalism within popular music (as opposed to its spurious counterpart that predominates in the body politic).Furthermore, most of it is exciting and original, managing to be diverse and complex while remaining percussive and instantly grabbing. The fusing of forms can produce ersatz and self-conscious tripe but each track here has real conviction. From the spiritual calm of Pohankar's "Piya Bavan" to the cinematic sweep of Jean-Claude Maurice's "My Maya", everything works, powerfully and with much grace and dignity. A joy.