And Now for Something Completely Different

Wrase Records

Looking for something really different? Alive may not be the best pop album of last year, but it’s got to be the coolest. Twenty-five-year-old Sa Dingding of China brings Sanskrit, Mandarin, Mongolian, and Tibetan song into the age of electronica and sweaty dance floors. It’s the sort of album where high-pitched vocals slice through synthesizers, bamboo flutes battle electric bass, Asian gongs and Zildjian cymbals crash, and Chinese lutes sound as if Jimi Hendrix visited Beijing. Dingding often uses controlled quavers, chants, and voice modulation as counterpoint amidst the instrumental storm. Her unhurried pacing and penchant for building drama humbles lesser Western pop stars. The very idea of making Sanskrit prayer into pop is so audacious that some reviewers have compared Dingding to Bjork, but her goal is to build global bridges not push creative envelops. She’s also been dubbed a “psychedelic Bodhisattva,” a handle that fits much better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more - excellent stuff however 'psychedelic Bodhisattva' seems a bit wide of the mark but well done Phoe' and Lars for digging it out. Soon, Scott Walker eh?