DJ Cheb i Sabbah

Maha Maya: Shri Durga Remixed

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The Algerian-born DJ Cheb i Sabbah released Shri Durga in 1999, setting something of a new standard in South Asian dance music. Where Asian Underground upstarts and worldbeat fusioneers tend to throw equal parts bhangra, drum'n'bass, rock, reggae, and funk into the mix, Cheb i Sabbah took recordings of classical Indian performers and gave them restrained (but sometimes tastefully funky) modern treatments. Maha Maya, on the other hand, throws such caution to the wind, and with very pleasing results. It's kind of like a DJ festschrift: Cheb i Sabbah has fans in high places, and several of them contributed funked-up remixes of tracks from Shri Durga to make this album. Thus we have State of Bengal's junglist approach to "Shri Durga," Bally Sagoo's Detroit techno take on "Kese Kese," and TJ Rehmi's bhangra-fied "Durga Puja." Best of all may be Fun Da Mental's slowly churning, alternate remix of "Shri Durga." The program is bracketed by two of Cheb i Sabbah's own remixes. Fans of modern club music and the Asian Underground scene should consider this an essential purchase, along with the original album.

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