Every once in a while, I like to shove all the Anglo-Saxon crap off my desk (it makes a great clattering sound) and sit down with something from another corner of the world.
Fantcha is a protege of Cesaria Evora’s, and though I don’t know her musical standing in her native Cape Verde, she has a beautiful voice, full and earthy, feminine without a trace of brittleness or excess purity. It works well with the — portuguese? it sounds portuguese — liquid vowels and gentle consonants that she sings. The music is subtly synthy, blending Portuguese and African style cues in a manner that is pretty predictable but highly enjoyable nonetheless.
This is the perfect disc for that outdoor party you’re having, where you want to completely avoid the tired clichés of reggae or salsa. Criolinha is a wonderful and absorbing listen from beginning to end. Tinder Records, 619 Martin Ave., Unit 1, Rohnert Park, CA 94928; http://worldmusic.com/tinder