Trans-Global Underground - Kamel Nitrate
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Trans-Global Underground
Impossible Broadcasting
Mule Satellite Records (www.t-g-u.com)

Kamel Nitrate
Lost in Spice
Kamelized (www.kamelnitrate.com)

Here is news from the world-electronica frontier. We have seen the heights to which the mighty Trans-Global Underground have scaled, crossing cultural barriers with such seeming effortlessness that even their early Dream of 100 Nations still sounds as other-worldly as it is this-worldly. Where the departure of Natacha Atlas made 2001's Yes Boss Food Corner an unexpected feast of African elements, sitar, and churning techno, this time around the fire burns more slowly. Production-wise, the TGU crew are working themselves into a clear, uncluttered sound that lets all their diverse elements shine through. Impossible Broadcasting travels a darker groove for these darker times, and there is a pervasive dub influence on the album. The CD starts out sounding a sonic warning; "This is London," says a voice, "Do not be afraid...What music do you like?" This and the track "Radio Unfree Europe" (with its "Go home!" sample) hint at a more overt political stance than Trans-Global Underground has ever mustered: these are claustrophobic moments for a band that has welcomed the world onto the dance floor. "Drinking in Gomorrah" even matches an entrepreneur's reflections on years of travelling with a restless techno beat, as he finally resigns himself to the moment of "sitting on the same stool...wearing the same shoes...eating the same food." New sonic adventures are provided by the inclusion of the Trio Bulgarka, but overall, Impossible Broadcasting seems like a leaner, wiser Trans-Global Underground for the current age.

cd cover If I seem to have been caught in a desert of despair, then surely Kamel Nitrate's Lost in Spice is an oasis. The band's Indian-dance fusion sound is unlike any world electronica that I have heard for three reasons. One, Kamel Nitrate actually sound like a band, and a band that is having the time of their life. Two, Laurent Rastelo brings in a funky organ sound that adds a new dimension to the genre. And three, Kamel Nitrate have a killer horn section that punches up the dance numbers to sheer intoxicating, KC and the Sunshine Band-like ecstasy. Funky organ and a horn section? You know I'm in love! Just listen to "The Big Bhang," already being picked up and mixed into electronica compilations (see the release on Six Degrees Records of The Outernationalists). Or "Devotion," with diva-vocals by Maria Joćo Branco, and a horn line that you want to take first to the club and then to the grave with you, it's that sweet. Deep, springing bass lines are provided by Tony Morrison, who guarantees that the whole affair keeps moving. Kamel Nitrate cook, and there is nothing cliché about Lost in Spice. Techno, psychedelic space jamming, Indian influences, and disco music complement each other to perfection in this band, making Kamel Nitrate the sound of right now. - Lee Blackstone

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