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The sounds of the Asian Underground

June 16, 2011

Anokha

The Guardian newspaper has listed the 1997 compilation album, Anokha: Soundz of the Asian Undergound as number 31 in its series of the fifty key events in the history of dance music. Quite right too! At a time when the mainstream music industry got all excited by the uncreative, turgid, rehashes of Beatle-esque jangly guitar rock in so-called Britpop, the real creativity was happening in clubs like Anokha. It was mostly ignored, of course,by the white mainstream media but it changed the lives of some of us. It’s an album that bears repeated playing even today – it still sounds fresh and innovative. If you don’t own it, track it down and buy it today.

The Guardian says this:
Eastern sonics had long been a staple of dance music’s cut-and-paste ethos. But in mid-90s London clubland, a new generation of British Asian kids, based around Talvin Singh‘s weekly Anokha night (at Old Street’s Blue Note) and the Outcaste label’s monthlies, blended eastern sounds with electro and drum’n’bass and – like the best musical subcultures – inspired hundreds of pop sociology essays in the process. A reaction to Britpop’s jingoism? A new generation finding a voice? Or a previously marginalised youth group dancing to a new beat? Possibly, definitely and maybe

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