Cheb I Sabbah: Shri Duranga

Fusing western notions and things eastern is a powerful lure, and an incipient peril, and has produced plenty of stillborn projects and artistically suspicious motives. But something fairly magical happens with the Indo-ambient album Shri Duraga, from dj Cheb i Sabbah (Six Degrees 657036-1009; 61:18). Somehow, the willful intersection of the dj’s sound-architectural mix ‘n’ matching, patches of electronica, looping, and real-time Hindustani luster from actual, living, responding musicians such as Ustad Salamat Ali Khan. For good measure, Bill Laswell even throws bass lines into the mix. The end result may be a surprise for world beat skeptics, an assemblage that lures us into a strange and fascinating realm, related to dance floor antics, soulful expressions, and the timeless beauty of Hindustani tradition.