Talvin Singh Channels
Growing up in London, Talvin Singh was exposed to punk and electronica, and was classically trained on the tabla from the age of five. After spending some time at school in India, he returned to England to work seriously as a musician, and soon developed his signature style. This sound -- a fusion of Indian bhangra beats (Punjabi dance music from harvest festivals and weddings typically featuring a big beat from a large two-headed drum) and drum 'n' bass -- was the right sound at the right time in multicultural London, and he was soon working with such names as BjÃ¶rk, Massive Attack, the Future Sound of London, Siouxsie & the Banshees and Sun Ra. Singh's Anokha club night followed, which showcased the sound of the Asian underground and brought in drum 'n' bass glitterati like LTJ Bukem. From there he launched his remixing career before focusing on solo production, and his debut, 1998's OK, went on to win England's prestigious Mercury award. Melding the sounds of tabla and Bollywood with jungle and drum 'n' bass, OK took sounds from England's Empire past and immigrant future and made them work as a forward-looking whole. Ha (2001) took a similar path, as did his contribution to the excellent Back to Mine series, with selections from artists as diverse as the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Vibrasphere and Photek. As Singh himself puts it: "Music shouldn't have boundaries. We're living in that time when things have got to unite."