Talvin Singh Leytonstone-born Talvin Singh calls himself The Cultural Nomad; Ha, the follow-up to 1998’s Mercury music prize-winning OK, was recorded in studios across the globe, from Madras and Bombay to London. Even so, Ha is no stylistically varied tour de force. Instead of a violent collision of opposites to make sparks fly you get a collage effect, all pretty patterns and curlicues. Or, to put it another way, Ha offers less friction than fusion, a puree so smooth you can barely taste it. Both extremes of Singh’s musical spectrum are compromised here. Depending on your vantage point, either the drum’n’bass and electro-funk rhythms are smothered by traditional instruments such as sarengi, tablas and Indian harp, or one’s enjoyment of the latter is ruined by the intrusion of the former. Ha might well prove educational, and certainly it is Singh’s prerogative to provide a showcase for his heritage, but that doesn’t mean it’s any good. (PL) Rothko London band Rothko are the first rock outfit to be comprised of three bassists – Jon Meade, Crawford Blair and Mark Beazley. They are aided and abetted on their third album by Simon Raymonde (ex-Cocteau Twins), who produced and engineered, sings (in a… Read full this story
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