Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Falu and M.I.A.

Amardeep has reviews of M.I.A. and Falu's new CD's. The interview with Maya by PitchforkMedia is interesting where she challenges the sterotype that women and people from the third world cannot produce great original music.

"I find it kind of insulting that I can't have any ideas on my own because I'm a female, or that people from undeveloped countries can't have ideas of their own unless it's backed up by someone who's blond-haired and blue-eyed."

And Amardeep reviews Falu's album here.

People interested in Asian Underground music have probably already heard of Falu, a singer who first appeared on Karsh Kale's Realize back in 2001. Since then she's been featured on a number of other people's CDs, but today she releases her own, self-titled CD. Rather than going for more in the way electronic beats, here Falu works with a live rock/desi fusion band, doing a mix of English and Hindi/Urdu songs.

It's a strong first effort. Falu has trained in Hindustani classical music with Ustad Sultan Khan, and there are several nice Hindi/Urdu tracks on the CD. The strongest is certainly her version of "O Lal Meri" (aka, "Dama Dam Mast Qalandar"); here the music is traditional, and Falu gets to really show off her Qawwali chops. I found Falu's version of Asha Bhosle's "Dum Maro Dum" less exciting, perhaps because I'm too attached to the original -- and to Asha Bhosle's voice (still, Falu's rock/fusion band seems to be having a good time rocking out a bit here). Also good are "Rabba" and "Poojan." Ustad Sultan Khan himself shows up playing Sarangi on two tracks, and he joins in the vocals to "Copper Can."

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