Prem Joshua

Dakini Lounge: Joshua Prem Remixed

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The history of Indo-European fusion music is not an entirely successful one. For every mutually energizing synthesis of the two very disparate traditions, there are many good-hearted but musically embarrassing disasters. Prem Joshua, a German-born musician who fell in love with the sound of Ravi Shankar's sitar and has subsequently lived and studied in India for almost 20 years, successfully dodges the bullet of multiculti dilettantism in part by virtue of his total immersion in the musical culture he loves, and in part by explicitly having fun with his Indo-jazz fusion instead of trying to imbue it with pseudo-mystical piety. Even more fun than usual is this collection of remixes of tracks from Prem Joshua's back catalog, most of them created by first-call producers and mixologists like Joi, Karsh Kale, and Sean Dinsmore. Not every track is a solid winner -- Aram Ram's take on "Dakini" is a relatively ho-hum club mix that sheds little new light on the original, and the similarly house-inflected "Shiva Moon [Moon Nectar Remix]" would have been twice as good if it were half as long. But Dharma Dogz' super-funky "Instant Pudding Mix" (har har) of "Bolo Hari" is as complexly danceable as anything you've ever heard, and the strings on Sean Dinsmore's mix of "Sky Kisses Earth" are a nice counterweight to the song's rough funk groove. Highly recommended.

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