Various Asian Travels 2 - A Six Degrees Compilation

Six Degrees resident compilation producer Robert Duskis returns here with another instalment in an ongoing series that aims to catalogue what may be termed as "fusion" music - dance music's ongoing love affair with all things "ethnic." Fortunately, despite the superficial packaging and arbitrary attempts at unifying the artists under the banner of "ethnic dance music," there are always some brilliant tracks to pick from, which perhaps best explains the sustained interest in the series. Asian Travels 2 follows after its predecessor of two years ago. Since then, Six Degrees and Duskis have released some notable compilations, such as the first Asian Travels, Arabian Travels and Traveler '01, the latter two in 2001. Compared to any of these, Asian Travels 2 falls short in its ambitious reach. Asian Travels featured some inspired outtakes by Fun-da-mental and Kingsik Biswas, amongst others. Similarly, Traveler '01 showcased talents such as Cuban musician Patato, as well as State of Bengal, and Karsh Kale's track in that mix was as haunting as it was beautiful. In this most recent release, it becomes evident that the premise of a "compilation" has become something of an excuse to hear remixes by the same few artists. Amongst these are Bob Holroyd, Banco De Gaia, Karsh Kale and Cheb I Sabbah. It wouldn't be a problem if the tracks were inspired but they're not and Kale's especially aren't up to form. For the most part, this sounds like an experiment in amateur cut and splice that somebody put together by pressing a few buttons on a newfound sampler: some beats here, a vocal sample of a Karnatic vocalist and a sitar. This clearly captures the so-called profundity of fusion music. (Six Degrees)