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World Music CD Reviews Electronica

MIDIval PunditZ

By Derek Beres
Published April 26, 2006

MIDIval PunditZ
Six Degrees

By the time the melodic Bansuri flute chimes in midway through “Air” you realize the PunditZ have captured something eluding world electronica. The simple fact resides in their far-reaching elements of style, fusing tasteful sounds in a congenial marriage of Delhi to the globe. The result of this duo’s (Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj) diverse ears–and laptops–is a self-titled debut of epic proportion. Canvassing the sounds of drum ’n’ bass, hip-hop, house and breakbeat, layering ghazals and Punjabi atop the drivingly atmospheric rhythms, India serves merely as base from which the PunditZ explore. “Fabric,” already released on the Monsoon Wedding soundtrack, is an expressively dynamic d-n-b venture alongside romantic poetics, while the club cut of choice is “Bhangra Fever,” featuring actor Ajay Naidu (Requiem For A Dream, Pi) offering his usually enigmatic verse: “New York is a grid, Delhi swings…” Yet by far the track to be heard is the gorgeous “Night,” a slow, subtle and sensual escapade through the dark hours, a perfect companion to a CD rare as it is essential.