Transglobal Underground

Impossible Broadcasting

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It's been a while since the last Transglobal Underground album, and the face of ethno-techno has changed considerably in that time. Can they still have anything relevant to say? Yes, as it turns out. They've remained a good step or two ahead of the pack with their particular cross-cultural, danceable fusions. Indian music has always been a part of their arsenal, and it's evident here on the partying "The Khaleegi Stomp," with sitar playing over a 12-bar beat, and in references on the dancehall-vibed "The Sikhman and the Rasta," an ode to London's Southall district. The most exciting tracks, however, feature the unearthly diaphonic harmonies of the Trio Bulgarka, whose wails are countered by rock guitar riffage and a pounding rhythm on "Isis K." It's jarring, but it works, especially when the whole explodes into a Wall of Sound. For the most part, Impossible Broadcasting is a very focused record (check the apocalyptic foreboding on "Sentinel"), but at times it does seem to float, as on "Vanilka" and "Take the 'A' Train." Although the album's title is better than most of the record, Transglobal Underground have nevertheless come back with a corker.

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