Dhamaal's SF sounds
Twilight Creeper - Dhamaal
Z Motion (Shiva Soundsystem Horn and Tusk Remix) - Dhamaal
Initially inspired by the highly politicized and often forebodingly malevolent-sounding Anglo-Asian electronica purveyors of the 90s like Asian Dub Foundation, San Francisco's Dhamaal is nothing if not American. And by that I mean, less politically activist and, at the risk of saying something controversial, probably more culturally integrated. (Hey, if you doubt that the U.S. assumes its immigrants into the fold with relative ease, erasing a lot of those conflict-provoking ethnic distinctions, consider what's going on in France and The Netherlands right now.)
"Twilight Creeper," from the 20-odd member DJ-musician-artist collective's 2004 release, Dhamaal Soundsystem (eMusic, iTunes), is highlighted by a snaky, sanguine South Asian flavored female vocal that swims, nevertheless, through a pretty standard (though still, really good) drum n' bass track. London-based Shiva Soundsystem's breakbeat remix injects some adrenalin and mystery into another Dhamaal Soundsystem offering, "Z Motion." The Shiva remix is a series of shifting planes: Sonic walls appear, floors drop out, ceilings slide open, tempos spool, then unspool, intensifying, disorienting. The flute that transports the melody in the original mix becomes an elusive sun occluded by cloudier, convulsive tribal beats and a sinister pre-language whisper-chant. But you never lose Dhamaal's smooth original blend of classical-and-club or its essentially American optimism.
The remix and three others are found on Dhamaal's Transitions EP (iTunes).
Dhamaal's Web site.