We Are Three

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Talvin Singh's seminal Anokha: Soundz of the Asian Underground compilation brought the world's attention to British DJs and producers of Asian descent, granting them a name, a sonic calling card, and the inevitable backlash. On their sophomore album, We Are Three, Joi rally against the "New Asian Kool" stereotype with earnest agitprop such as "This is not the sound of the Asian Underground, this is music," a phrase from "Tacadin." The protest comes off hollow -- fickle British club culture as of early 2001 has moved on to Latin American sounds and left most of the graduates of Anokha High out in the cold. But if there's hope for any Asian outfit in this inhospitable ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Talvin Singh's seminal Anokha: Soundz of the Asian Underground compilation brought the world's attention to British DJs and producers of Asian descent, granting them a name, a sonic calling card, and the inevitable backlash. On their sophomore album, We Are Three, Joi rally against the "New Asian Kool" stereotype with earnest agitprop such as "This is not the sound of the Asian Underground, this is music," a phrase from "Tacadin." The protest comes off hollow -- fickle British club culture as of early 2001 has moved on to Latin American sounds and left most of the graduates of Anokha High out in the cold. But if there's hope for any Asian outfit in this inhospitable climate, it's Joi. Now reduced to lone member Farook Shamsher after the death of his brother Haroon in 1999, Joi are, nonetheless, happier than most. Bright, expansive melodies float above cushy beats that lean more toward the rave styles of the Chemical Brothers than the dark clatter of drum 'n' bass. Standout tracks "Prem" and "We Need Your Vote" are soundbeds of Indian percussion, flutes, and drones that build to ecstatic rinse-like effects, but the hip-hop style of "Don'cha Know That" keeps things out of Enigma territory. Above all, Joi are focused: Clocking in at 55 minutes, We Are Three provides an arresting listen without the usual padding and posturing. With this smashing return, Joi indeed have something to smile about.
All Music Guide - Peggy Latkovich
This is the second and, tragically, the last of the brothers Shamsher's output. Older brother Haroon died suddenly in 1999 after a trip to Bangladesh to collect material for this album. Younger brother Farook completed the album and released it as a tribute to Haroon. The CD is a strong collection of Bengali-based dance grooves. While instruments such as tabla, flutes, and dutar turn up in many of the tracks, the Bengali connection is not overstated. Rather, it's there to give a sense of identity and place. The rhythms are straightforward and danceable, the tone colors layered like sheets of vibrantly dyed gauze. In "Prem," the ingenuous voice of a 14-year-old girl (recorded in Bangladesh by Haroon) wails over a deep groove. Traces of disco are discernible in "Deep Asian Vibes." The languid flow of tracks such as "Triatma" and "Flying With You" shows the brothers' subtler side. One can even catch a whiff of country & western in "We Need Your Vote" with its twangy guitar and banjo sounds. This is one of the most powerful tracks, with a child's voice layered over the sounds of a chanting crowd, and a heavy backbeat driving it all. We Are Three shows Farook Shamsher's skill as a manipulator of sounds and serves as worthy testimony to his brother's memory.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/23/2001
  • Label: Real World
  • UPC: 724384987121
  • Catalog Number: 49871

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Journey (7:17)
  2. 2 Prem (7:05)
  3. 3 Don't Cha Know That (7:25)
  4. 4 The Holy Side (6:43)
  5. 5 Deep Asian Vibes (6:35)
  6. 6 Triatma (5:43)
  7. 7 Flying With You (3:42)
  8. 8 Tacadin (5:30)
  9. 9 We Need Your Vote (5:22)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Joi Primary Artist
Farook Shamsher Vocals
Haroon Shamsher Vocals
Susheela Raman Vocals
Technical Credits
Ashley Wales Producer
John Coxon Producer
Mads Bjerke Engineer
Tristan Manco Graphic Design
Farook Shamsher Producer, Contributor, Liner Notes
Haroon Shamsher Contributor
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