Love ’em or hate ’em, Pitchfork doesn’t seem particularly afraid of being critical. Even so, I found a more-firey-than-usual take on Talvin Singh’s now classic OK digging through the archives today. This time, though, the flamethrower isn’t directed at the artist but at the industry:
Mr. and Mrs. I’m So Fucking Happy probably won’t go for the distinctly Eastern approach to melody and texture featured on OK. Singh doesn’t just stick some sitars over a breakbeat– the arrangements of tablas, strings, and frenzied backbeats is allowed full prominence here.
Stuff this adventurous is not made for everybody. But all it takes is a couple of famous white people to take notice and distill it into a more palpable format and there you go– you’ll all be eating bhaji and hanging out of dhotis. What’s that, you say? Never mind.
– Samir Khan
Now that’s angry. Apparently, Elvis’ outright theft of Chuck Berry’s act still resonates (and around the world, too). I suppose having mile markers along the way hasn’t hurt, either. Red Hot Chili Peppers remind anyone of a poor man’s Fishbone? The beat goes on — the cash goes white.
Well, at least the South Asian D&B bleach-fest hasn’t got full steam yet. The Anokhan sound never managed to get fully overground and Talvin’s been working the console more than the stage of late (if he gives a white artist his sound, at least he gets paid). Bhangra keeps threatening to emerge from the basement, though. If that happens, we can only hope it keeps some of its origins intact. Cross-pollination is beautiful. Combine it with a selective memory, though, and you’ve got, well, Elvis.
If you like Samir’s brand of angry, more hip yet heated Indian point of view can be found at turbanhead.