...There’s more to Asian music than remixes and samples.
Jaspreet Pandohar 2007
This album is a featured release on BBC's Asian Network
The sound of the Asian Underground may have faded out at the turn of the millennium, but fortunately, a new generation of talented music makers has emerged including DJ Asif and Martti of Fusing Naked Beats.
Like the fused electronica of their previous albums, Digital Asia and Outer Perspective, Witness Of The World, is another generous helping of much of the same. From eastern electronica to uplifting global house, Arabic and Indian beats fuse with hip-hop and funky dance. This cleverly crafted compilation does exactly what it says on the cover – gathers together a pleasing vista of sounds from all over the world, which would otherwise remain poles apart.
The superior vocals of Sandhya Sanjana and Houria, blend with sensuous Middle Eastern vocals and western electronica in tracks ''Ru’yah'' and ''Freedom''. Laying ambient club beats over Mehi’s distinctive Punjabi vocals in Neendran creates another unusual combination of acoustics. While pairing up the dancehall heavy General Levy with the delicate female Hindi vocals provided by Unnati gives birth to the highly original sounding ''Indian Pearl''.
Surprisingly it’s the title track, ''Witness Of The World'', which promises more than it delivers. While haunting in melody, Asif Ali’s weak lyrics and delivery fail to lift it to the inspirational realm it intends. Instead ''Odyssey'' stands out as the track which captures the imagination, and can easily be at hit on any dance floor or music festival around the world.
Having played in punk-inspired bands such Fun-da-mental and Charged, DJ Asif has spent years developing his own sound. And while Fused Naked Beats is clearly influenced by the likes of Nitin Sawhney, TJ Rehmi and Natacha Atlas, both he and partner Martti have developed their own unique style of contemporary Asian music. Pushing the boundaries of global dance music further afield, in Witness Of The World, the talented producers demonstrate there’s more to Asian music than remixes and samples.