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  Listen Up! 9/30/02 Listen Up!

Monday, Sept. 30

Luciana Souza, “Brazilian Duos,” Sunnyside Records. I’ve dabbled over the years with listening to Brazilian pop, and I’ve almost always been rewarded. But, because I’ve not heard enough of it, I find myself filing pretty much all of it under the generic Brazilian pop field, without discerning what makes one record better or worse than another. (I have got a feel for Tom Ze being more avant-garde, and Caetano Veloso being somewhat more tricky, and for Os Mutantes being crazy psych-rock, but mostly, I don’t know a lot about this stuff.) Anyway, this is a lovely, gentle little record in which Souza takes turns singing with three different guitarists. The Brazilian lilt is obvious to me, even on a few songs that twist it up a little into something trickier. The ballads are sultry as all get out, as most Brazilian ballads seem to be. It’s something about the Portuguese language, I think.

DJ Cheb I Sabbah, “Krishna Lila,” Six Degrees Records. This is puzzing, since I always thought the word “Cheb” meant we were talking rai music, from what? Algeria? This is Indian or maybe Pakistani music, gorgeous Indian or Pakistani music at that, with those deep rumbling drums, and some delicate dulcimer-like instrument, and silky female vocals. There’s not a lot of information in the liner notes here, so I’m more in the dark even than I usually am. The only thing I know, though I can’t really hear much of his presence, is that Bill Laswell turns up playing bass on most tracks. I can tell you, though, this is really good stuff.

--Steve Pick



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