Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Michael Brook, 2013
In 1997, Real World commissioned the leading lights of the UK's so-called Asian Underground movement to remix and reshape the back catalogue of the great Pakistani qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Asian Dub Foundation, Nitin Sawhney, State Of Bengal, The Dhol Foundation and Fun^Da^Mental took their pick of Nusrat's classic album
Mustt Mustt, while Talvin Singh, Joi, Aki Nawaz and Earthtribe reconstructed cuts from Night Song, the record made by Nusrat and his Canadian collaborator Michael Brook.
When the project was nearing completion, tragedy struck: Nusrat died suddenly, leaving Star Rise as a memorial to this unique artistic visionary. A decade and a half later, it remains a strikingly modern tribute, from State Of Bengal's beautifully unhurried reimagining of Shadow right through to the fidgety, floor-quaking dub of ADF's remix of Taa Deem.
This timely reissue also adds a freshly minted remix of Fault Lines, an absorbing, 21st-century interpretation from US DJ Fabian Alsultany (co-creator of L.A.'s Tadasana Festival and New York's mammoth Globesonic dance gatherings). Not that the stamp of a date is necessary or pertinent. Nusrat's soaring vocals remain ageless, his appeal eternal.
"Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is one of the world's leading voices. Listening to him always takes me back to my childhood and hearing my father's tapes. Now, the thought of some of Britain's best young Asian artists collaborating with him gives me such a great buzz. This is our generation's way of saying "respect due"." Imran Khan - 2nd Generation Magazine
- ...still sounds as fresh as the day it was put together... by a collection of DJs from an altogether younger generation. In fact the idea of mixing dance-floor beats with the sacred sound of qawwali might at the time have seemed anathema, but actually turned a whole new a by a collection of younger audience on to the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and consequently he was fêted by that younger generation in a way that would never have happened if that same age group had been exposed to the untouched rootsier sounds alone. 4/5 UKVibe - Jazz Culture Online (UK)
- A general seamlessness throughout is a tribute both to Khans... ...timeless vocal prowess and to the skills and taste of all concerned. Q Magazine (1997) (UK)
- The aura of reverence present here is awe-inspiring. November 1997 Mixmag (UK)
- ...mind-blowingly wonderful... ...this record combines all the exoticism and intellectual pose value of traditional Qawwali music with lots of throbbing basslines and juicy breakbeats. The Sunday Telegraph (1997) (UK)
- ...a sublime album... ...a glowing tribute to both the singers enduring artistry and the febrile health of the Anglo-Asian music scene in general. The Independent (1997) (UK)
- .. this is a superb album ... which shows how important he [Nusrat] has been in influencing the music of his generation and the next. 11 October 1997 Glasgow Evening Times (UK)
- ... a dish that is very, very hot ... Khans voice is given a 97 twist and the result is immediately compelling ... This is music with real depth. 11 October 1997 Dj (UK)
- Its a credit to Khans enthusiasm for unconventional collaborations ... A fitting tribute. Time Out (1997) (UK)
- An album to move you both physically and emotionally. The Sunday Times (1997) (UK)