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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Karsh Kale

By Stacy Meyn
Published April 27, 2007

Manifest Remixes
Bombay Dub Orchestra
Remixed
Niyaz
Remixed
Six Degrees

Three of the top performers from the Six Degrees stable do their thing on concurrent EP releases. Karsh Kale, the Bombay Dub Orchestra, and Niyaz have all made strides in merging their familial music background with today’s danceteria-hopping beats. With “Manifest,” the US-raised Kale surrenders his Broken English pick hit to several “global electronica” whizzes (Rise Ashen, Rara Avis, Radiohiro, Benny Cha Cha, Desert Dweller, and Seed) for reworkings ranging from bangin’ breakbeats to swooshy dub. Trained in classical tabla, Kale lets his Indian heritage shine by collaborating with Sufi-style vocalist Vishal Vaid and gooses it up more by pairing with NYC’s MC Napoleon. Bombay Dub Orchestra stretch beyond their name by harvesting from their self-titled full-length debut, allow Thievery Corporation, Banco de Gaia, Spider, DJ Drez Jahta, and Pathaan to play with top tracks and augment them with their own notable techniques. Beats and bass swirl about, some scratching is heard, and female voices give the masculine Near East sound more dimension. Drum ’n’ bass, downtempo, and trance versions of BDO tunes are effortless segues from traditional to bumpin’. The normally meditative Niyaz holds its own amid the Middle Eastern pop rhythms because the trio pulls in some club-wise help in redoing two songs from their debut disc. The Netherlands’ Junkie XL and UK-based Paul Oakenfold collaborator Andy Gray give “Dilruba” the canned-heat-in-heels treatment. Junkie’s nearly nine-minute run makes the deep beat rounds and Gray does the driving beats. New Delhi’s MIDIval PunditZ toss a lot of tabla into “Allahi Allah,” while Niyaz’ own electronics guru Carmen Rizzo tricks us into thinking that his remix will be as mellow as the usual Niyaz goodies -- we’d all better think again and put on sweats for the workout he puts us through. Happy dancing!