V/A Globalista CD review & Russendisko CD review [Trikont]

Music Reviews
V/A Globalista CD review & Russendisko CD review [Trikont]
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Sep 8, 2005, 05:14

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VARIOUS ARTISTS Globalista: Import – Export CD VARIOUS ARTISTS Russendisko CD

Much of the more interesting and exciting rock-based music in the world today is coming from parts outside of the U.S. and Europe. As evidence I submit these two great collections from the archivists at Trikont, whose impact of Western Pop has brought about a refreshing revision of local folk traditions. Globalista collects standout hits from the Caribbean, Africa, China, Turkey, Russia, Southeast Asia and South America and further reaches of the world.

While some of the songs are a bit too polished sounding, all of them exhibit a cool synthesis of their own indigenous styles with pop song craft. One of the best examples is the catchy call-and-response chorus chant of “No Tang Sidong” by the 17-member Suranimese group La Rouge. Its frantic, rolling drums and percussion seems to defy the rhythm of the melody, but it all fuses together in a really amazing meld that Manu Chao wishes were his own. Elsewhere, hip-hop merges with Latin dance, Punjabi Bhangra mixes with rock, Caribbean syncopation spices up funk-rock, Chinese folk meets the power-ballad and many other musical varieties reinvigorate the tedium of Western pop.

Russendisko takes a more concentrated focus on the underground music of Russia. Inspired by a twice-monthly night in a little-known East Berlin club, this collection features key songs by some well-known (Red Elvises, Leningrad) and some sadly-overlooked artists from Russia. There's a hearty dose of ugly ska-punk to sift through, but in general, the rousing gypsy-punk, klezmer and balalaika rock gathered here is a refreshing lift for fans of Gogol Bordello, Firewater and the aforementioned traditions. Don't expect minor-chord morose Machiavellian ballads, however. The compilers of this disc set out to showcase the upbeat and energetic sounds of Russian alternative dance music in order to shirk the stereotypes of their country's gloomy reputation. [Trikont]

-Dave Clifford

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