Karsh Kale Broken English

Ever since the first trance beat was dropped in Goa, electronic artists have been influenced by the sounds of the Indian continent. Although many artists try to incorporate traditional sounds such as the sitar and tabla with dance music, many times the results are too messy and unfocused, ultimately leading to disposable albums. London-born and New York-raised Karsh Kale seems to have found the balancing act though in incorporating Eastern traditions with Western dance music on his third proper album, Broken English. Opening track "Manifest” is rap done in the same vein as M.I.A. with collaborators MC Napoleon and Vishal Vaid trading lyrics over Roots Manuva-type dub effects and the chants you’d hear blaring through Indian street speakers. Although the album runs the map with full-fledged techno beats on "New Born Star,” lush sounds of mellow electronica in the vein of Zero 7 and Röyksopp on "Beautiful” and Thom Yorke-ish wails and indie rock on "Dancing at Sunset and City Lights,” Broken English is still a refreshing taste of organic sounds that knows no border. The overall highlight though is "Free Fall” with its rousing call to the dance floor and a sound like Gwen Stefani if she hung out on the streets of Mumbai instead of Tokyo. (Six Degrees)