Mock Practice Test-2
Read the following passage and answer the items that follow. Your answers should be based only on the passage and you are not supposed to use your general knowledge/information in order to answer the items that follow the passage.
Mohammed Akber Ali and Shrikanth Sriram, the London duo known as Badmarsh & Shri, don’t do scenes. They figured that out soon after the release of their first CD, Dancing Drums, in 1998. The duo was waiting to play at a London night spot packed with would-be hipsters desperate to get a hit of a new music genre-dubbed “Asian underground” but often consisting of little more than DJs sampling Indian folk music over drum-’n’-bass beats - that was then the rage in U.K. clubs. “There was a band on before us,” Sriram remembers. “And a couple of Asian guys came on with sitars. They didn’t even know how to hold them. They twanged one note, and the crowd goes, ‘Yeah, this is Asian underground.”
After two notes, they put down the sitars and out came the rock guitars. To Sriram, a 32-years-old Bombay native who grew up surrounded by classical Indian music, it was too much to bear. “I thought, this doesn’t make any sense,” he says. “I’m not a part of this movement. The further we stay away from it the better.”
They made the right choice. Since distancing themselves from the manufactured sound and styles of London’s Asian club scene, the duo has created its own, highly original kind of music. It’s a sonic masala of traditional tablas, sitars, flutes and strings stirred together with just about every spiece in the Western pop pantry, including drum ‘n’ bass, garage, funk and reggae. All the elements are on display on Signs (Outcaste), their thrilling second CD. “This music works as well in Norway as it does in London or New York,” Sriram says, “People like to get their heads blown apart.” Says Ali: “We’re not making music in a particular genre for a particular group.”
In that sense, Badmarsh & Shri belongs to a generation of young British-Asian acts, from Nitin Sawhney to Cornershop, who have emerged from the ethnic underground to make music that bends—and transcends—traditional pop categories. South Asian culture suffuses almost every facet of modern British life: Bollywood movies outdraw West End musicals, and curry is the national cuisine. Now, with the novelty of the “Asian underground” fading, Asian musicians are demanding recognition as mainstream British artists with global appeal. Talvin Singh, the critically acclaimed London-based DJ and tabla virtuoso, says British-Asian pop “is the music of today. Whether its’ underground or overground, it’s creating a new spirit and science of making music.”
Badmarsh & Shri are an unlikely team: the Yemeni-Indian Ali, 34, grew up in East London listening to black dance music before becoming a DJ; Sriram, who moved to London from India in 1997, plays bass and has tastes that range from Rush to Herbie Hancock. After meeting in 1998, they decided to record together-Ali spinning and mixing, Sriram laying down bass lines and melodies-and within a month they had finished Dancing Drums. “Shri became my human sampler,” Ali says “Instead of sampling from vinyl, I sampled from him.”
Signs closes with Badmarsh & Shri’s sparest song to date: Appa, which features Sriram’s father, T.S. Sriram, playing a delicated sitar raga, backed by the Strings of Bombay. Sriram included the song on the album not only as a homage to his father but also as a retort to those pretenders-the guys who couldn’t hold their sitars properly-who once populated the so-called Asian underground. “I thought I’d show people what real sitar can sound like,” he says. “Even my father says he never knew he could sound that good.”
What makes Badmarsh & Shri work well as a team?
A The duo comes from different backgrounds with different taste in music B They are both British-Asian, with Indian roots. C They complement each other well, critiquing and supporting each other D all of the above