Friday, June 12, 2009

Gaudi & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Dub Qawwali (2007)

The late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the most celebrated Qawwali singer in the history of recorded music, getting a remix treatment of sorts at the hands of London-based producer and dub music enthusiast Gaudi.
On paper this sounds like it would be a disaster. The appeal of Nusrat’s early recordings is in the looseness of the arrangements: bare-bones harmonium, tabla and handclapped rhythms, over which his and his group’s voices are able to soar clear and unobstructed. Gaudi’s recent work, however, favours dense, new-agey arrangements. But, surprisingly, the combination here works pretty well. The album is organic and lush, without in any way sounding contrived or gimmicky. Gaudi’s skanky electronic dub rhythms are a great fit for the mellow but passionate vocal performances, which were culled from unused recording sessions from the 60s and 70s. If you want a more authentic Nusrat experience, you can find his Shahen-Shah album in the archives here. But don’t pass this one by, it’s surprisingly good.

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