Sa Dingding: Alive (Universal)

 |   |  1 min read

WSa Dingding: Lagu Lagu
Sa Dingding: Alive (Universal)

Elsewhere has frequently posted Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan music recorded in the field and of earthy authenticity (or soaring spirituality). But we aren't averse to a bit of Cantonese pop, ambient Sino-fusion or wallpaper world music which nods to the Middle Kingdom.

These days only a fool or an academic would be snooty about world music artists and try to delineate between the genuine article and the enjoyably manufactured.

Which goes no way at all towards explaining where this Buddhist pop princess of Mongolian/Chinese heritage sits in the spectrum: certainly there are elements of contemporary dance and trip-hop at work; some UK writers have cited Bjork as her nearest musical relative (not true, Bjork is way more wayward); and throughout this album traditional Chinese melodies and instruments are deployed although she sings in Sanskrit (or sometimes in made-up language)

Of course it doesn't hurt that she is enormously photogenic and dresses like a star from Raise the Red Lantern.

Sa Dingding has been groomed for stardom in the West (just in time for the Olympics?) and her music is silken and to some extent polished rather too smooth to be entirely enjoyable. But that doesn't deny the fact that there is still much to like here as traditional songcraft, 21st century production and Tibetan chant come together -- and although none of it feels like New Age nonsense you know it is designed for the iPod Generation.

Over to you.

 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Tagaq: Sinaa (Jericho Beach)

Tagaq: Sinaa (Jericho Beach)

This remarkable Inuit throat singer and avant-vocalist came to my attention in Vancouver when I was reading a lengthy article about John Coltrane in a newspaper (my kinda paper) and she was... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE:  Jordan Bell of Katchafire

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Jordan Bell of Katchafire

The mighty roots reggae band Katchafire out of Hamilton have been taking their exciting show around the world for over two decades now and they never fail to ignite a crowd. As they've clocked... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BLUE NOTE LABEL AT 75 (2014): Vision, visuals and visionaries in jazz

THE BLUE NOTE LABEL AT 75 (2014): Vision, visuals and visionaries in jazz

In early January 1939 Alfred Lion – a 30-year old emigre from Berlin who had moved permanently to New York just two years previous – took the boogie-woogie pianists Meade Lux Lewis... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Kelly Joe Phelps

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Kelly Joe Phelps

Although The Edge from U2 is on record saying, "Kelly Joe Phelps is a great example of what the modern blues is all about" there's a lot more to the man than that, as his answers below... > Read more