Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Badar Ali Khan

  • Lost In Qawwali [Worldly/Triloka, 1997] A
  • Mixes [Worldly/Triloka, 1997] Dud
  • Lost in Qawwali II [Worldly/Triloka, 1998] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Lost In Qawwali [Worldly/Triloka, 1997]
Cousin of Nusrat, big deal--there's probably whole villages of 'em. Only this one's released the hottest qawwali record I've ever heard. No Western instruments, just harmonium, tabla, and handclaps, but also no ghazals--at times I swear it swings, and direct comparison to the master makes startlingly clear that the higher pitches, faster tempos, and precipitate ascent into ecstasy very nearly create a new subgenre: speed-qawwali. The 13-minute lead track supposedly sold a million as a Pakistani cassingle, and I bet it created a scandal. Nonbelievers, on the other hand, will get Badar easier than they ever did the former real thing. Deep? How would I know? But as intense an hour of music as you'll hear all year. A

Mixes [Worldly/Triloka, 1997] Dud

Lost in Qawwali II [Worldly/Triloka, 1998]
Yankee yobs like you and me might reasonably wonder how the hell much more Sufi devotional music we need, and absent this Nusrat cousin's extraordinary, volume-one-leading, elsewhere uselessly and here curiously remixed great hit "Trance," the answer may well be none. Nevertheless, direct comparison with Caroline's honorable, vintage, budget-double Supreme Collection Volume 1 underlines the younger Khan's distinction. To put it in yob terms that would make any radio programmer snort, he's marginally hookier. If you love the first one and want a little more, then you'll like this. And barring unforeseen developments, that will be that. A-