DJ Cheb I Sabbah Maha Maya Remixed

The thought of remixing Dj Cheb I Sabbah's Shri Durga poses an ironic situation, considering that his original recordings are essentially reinterpretations of traditional South Asian music. The third generation sounds featured on this disc also have the added twist that most of them have been given to us by producers from South Asian backgrounds (albeit situated in the UK and in a more dance-oriented context). The results throw the East-West dynamic into a never-ending flux that makes this disc a good companion to its predecessor. However, if there is one significant difference that's evident on Maha Maya, it's that the versions here tend to be less meditative. They make up for that though with an attitude that's fierce and rhythmic. Bedouin Ascent strikes "Ganga Dev" up with a killer old school 808 break and an acidic twitch, while Fun Da Mental drop industrial-heavy drums on "Shri Durga." State of Bengal takes the latter into a guitar swirling, drum & bass drive, which along with the TJ Rehmi remix of "Durga Puja" operates as a really accessible piece of dance floor music. Bally Sagoo's attempt to house up "Kese Kese," on the other hand, is futile by comparison. But the best tracks on Maha Maya are arguably the ones that Sabbah has re-remixed himself. His "Dhuni mix" of "Samarpanam" takes the sound bite of what sounds like a street-swami singing praises in a way that is musically distraught, but otherwise full of devotion. The "Babu Chandidasa mix" of "Radhe Krishna" evokes a similar intensity, although in a way that is less earthy and more psychedelic and abstract. All in all, all of the artists, especially those who appear via the sampler, have once again proved that such translations are always bound to be interesting when the original song is a strong one to begin with. (Six Degrees)