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Babbling Brook a compendium of articles reviews and interviews

Star Rise review
by Stuart Bailie
from New Music Express
[reprinted here without permission]

Star RiseHe was valued by all sorts; from Eddie Vedder to Pavarotti, from Massive Attack to Peter Gabriel. Sadly, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan died just as his last remix project was near completion.

Before his death, the Pakistani singer had already approved the idea of a bunch of Anglo-Asian blades making something fresh out of his recordings. After all, Nusrat had been up for experimenting in his day; taking ancient Persian poetry, singing it in the devotional qawwali music style.

Overseen by Michael Brook, a Canadian workmate, 'Star Rise' is respectful to the originals, but there are many surprises too. The most extraordinary job is Asian Dub Foundation's, who've taken 'Taa Deen' and added punk thrashings and electronic fuzz to heighten the fever.

Nusrat's mystical singing, which used repetition to fuel a rising sense of ecstasy, was in tune with the soul-bending powers of techno, drum'n'bass and ambient. Thus, it sounds natural that Talvin Singh should make his tribute to 'My Heart My Life' so hypnotic and magical. Or that Black Star Liner should take the dub route to ace effect.

State Of Bengal seem to make a powerful equation between Nusrat's 'Shadow' and John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme' as a simple motif under the song becomes increasingly powerful. Fun^Da^Mental combine with The Dhol Foundation for a blazing finale as percussion crackles across 'Tery Bina'. The musical scales are buzzed over with ferocious dexterity while the young admirers are inflamed by the artist who was called Shahen-Shah, the brightest star.