Sa Dingding: Harmony (Go East)

 |   |  1 min read

Sa Dingding: Lucky Day
Sa Dingding: Harmony (Go East)

The debut album Alive of two years ago by this photogenic Chinese singer was a mish-mash of electro-pop, slightly twee vocals, Chinese folk, new age blandness and deadening over-production.

This new album however -- while still mining electro-pop and again putting traditional instruments alongside synths -- is a much more interesting item.

The opener -- a crunching Ha Ha Li Li with odd yelps, ululations, urgently whispered lyrics and strident percussion -- and the oddball Lucky Day wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a recent Yoko Ono album

Across the 11 tracks there is still that production which won’t leave well enough alone and tosses in another layer of backing vocals (Tibetan chants!) or exotic instruments like the pipa (Chinese lute) and erhu (two-string fiddle).

But for the most part the pop consciousness and economy has been upped, the songs sound ripe for samplers with their strange vocals or effects, and the little girl voice of the debut has given way to a more confidently experimental singer.

She moves from Mandarin and Sanskrit to English; the dark ballad Pomegranate Woman, the slightly eerie but romantic Blue Horse and the dreamy Yun Yun Nan Nan are standouts; and Xi Carnival lets in the party spirit. 

Sa DingDing -- who was at Womad in 2009 -- just needs to have the eye-candy video for Ha Ha Li Li onto local video shows to get the exposure she deserves for this odd but interesting album.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Yasmin Levy: Mano Suave (Adama)

Yasmin Levy: Mano Suave (Adama)

Jerusalem-born Levy created a lot of interest when she appeared at the 2007 Taranaki Womad for her swooning style of Ladino music which comes out of the Spanish/Jewish tradition. What she also... > Read more

ANOUSHKA SHANKAR INTERVIEWED (2008): Never in the shadow

ANOUSHKA SHANKAR INTERVIEWED (2008): Never in the shadow

As two Lennons and any number of Marleys might tell you, it isn’t easy carrying the name of a famous musician father, especially if you want a career in the business yourself. Certainly... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE MONTY PYTHON AUTOBIOGRAPHY by THE PYTHONS(2003)

THE MONTY PYTHON AUTOBIOGRAPHY by THE PYTHONS(2003)

The shadow of the Beatles is cast long over Monty Python's Flying Circus. The late George Harrison always said he felt something of the band's spirit passed to Monty Python, which appeared on... > Read more

Elton John: Madman Across the Water (1970)

Elton John: Madman Across the Water (1970)

During the sessions for his excellent country-rock album Tumbleweed Connection (an Essential Elsewhere album, see here), Elton John recorded this nine minute version of the menacing and moody... > Read more