Onda Sonora

Onda Sonora

Red Hot + Lisbon

Red Hot Organization/Bar None

Another stunning benefit/awareness anthology from the Red Hot Organization, a collective dedicated to the dissemination of AIDS information. Honestly, these people produce records so consistently good that I’m often tempted to just say “it’s Red Hot, go get it,” but then again that would be dismissing the original thinking behind the compilations themselves.

Red Hot + Lisbon traces the influence of the Portuguese on music worldwide by mixing and matching artists. The result is a pan-global collection that creates new dimensions to the sound yet highlights the pervasive influence of the relatively small seafaring country. The resulting combinations are fascinating portraits in sound. David Byrne and Caetano Veloso open with “Dream World: Marco de Canaveses,” a serene concoction that represents both artists’ easily recognizable styles. Arto Lindsay provides a bouncy guitar counterpoint to Arnaldo Antunes deeper-than-Calvin-Johnson’s voice in “Sem Você.” Other notable names getting into the act include Durutti Column, Smoke City (who sound like the Brazilian Portishead here), Bonga, Vinicius Cantuária, DJ Spooky, k.d. lang and many others who are just as talented if not as recognizable.

This is a course — a very enjoyable course — on the global musical influence of the Portuguese. Their magnificent merchant marine empire may no longer exist, but their musical legacy seems to have lasted longer (and be far more enjoyable) than the most successful colonialism. Seek, find, acquire, learn. More info: http://www.redhot.org/

Bar/None Records, P.O. Box 1704, Hoboken, NJ 07030; http://www.bar-none.com

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