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Putumayo Presents Asian Lounge - Various Artists (CD) | Buy Online in South Africa | ibctime.com
Putumayo visited India and East Asia for its compilation Asian Groove , where artists like Badar Ali Khan and Bally Sagoo blended traditional instruments with scratchy hip-hop grooves and lush ambient sounds. Likewise, whether it's Prem Joshua on his own "Funky Guru" or with a fellow multi-instrumentalist Manish Vyas on "Water Down the Ganges" , the results are pretty similar, and pretty standard for the hundreds of chillout comps blending Western electronic elements with Eastern instrumentation and traditions. On the plus side a lilting female vocal helps Nitin Sawhney build some character into the otherwise conventional trip-hop of "Koyal," and the shamisen on "Fukaki Umi No Kanata" is nice even if the track's lounge-tronica backgrounds aren't. Overall Asian Lounge is sufficient for the casual fan -- it sustains a recognizably fusionist groove, and provides background information for anyone wishing to explore further.