The Asian underground become the Asian massive as time passed and its visibility increased. While it's generally been applied to Indian music, there's no doubt the tag also fits Kabul Workshop, who mix traditional Afghani instruments with electronics. Needless to say, this isn't music that could ever have flourished under the Taliban, who smashed instruments when they found them, or even in a liberated version of the country, with its lack of infrastructure. Instead, it's very much an East-West mix, which works well, even if the programming sometimes threatens to overwhelm the rest. There's enough of a traditional base from the rubab (or rabab) and sarangi to give a real flavor to the music, while the bass and beats keep the feet firmly on the floor. At 35 minutes it's decidedly on the short side, but the tracks fill out well, never seeming too brief. As a first step it's good, if not great; the test will be what they do next time.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson