The monstrously popular folks in charge of the Rough Guide series won't be satisfied until they've done a music compilation for every ethnicity on the planet, but I found it surprising that it took them this long to get to underground Asian techno. In the time that it took them to dig these tracks up, a host of excellent Asian-relative electronic music compilations have come down the pike, and that competition -- coupled with the actual song choices on this album -- are what kills it. There isn't a track on here that competes with half of the now-classic Anokha compilation put together by Talvin Singh, and Anokha is six years old. It's simply too little too late. Not that there isn't any good stuff to be culled from a listen. They put the right artists on here -- Ananda Shankar, State of Bengal, Asian Dub Foundation -- but apparently they had their hands tied to only portions of their catalogues, because the representative songs on here aren't very representative of the better songs in their repertoire. The thing this compilation does right is capture a wide stylistic range of material, firmly living up to the mission of the series.
Various Artists The Rough Guide to the Asian Underground
The Rough Guide to the Asian Underground - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
The Rough Guide to the Asian Underground
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