Algerian music rocks. It rocks hard. Anyone who has heard the raw, guttural inflections of Cheikha Rimitti or the electro-punk-infused raï of Rachid Taha can attest to this.

The music of French-Algerian DJ and producer Cheb i Sabbah, though, falls outside of this realm, and into that murky, Western-defined “world music” genre. His latest release, Devotion, quietly succumbs to that label.

Sabbah is a forefather of mash-ups, having mixed and layered South Asian, Arabic and African rhythms for decades. Devotion, however, falls short of the legend of this man.

His rich heritage and extensive cross-cultural collaborations have not translated into something new or fresh or interesting. Devotion sounds like a re-run of his past releases, a veritable copy of the Asian Underground. It will definitely appeal to yoga yuppies and spiritual seekers – but to more discerning (and jaded) ears, it sounds like background music for a trendy new Indian restaurant.

Grade: C

Devotion is currently available.