The Hot List: May 6, 2000

International Independents

Some of the most esoteric releases I receive are independent productions. Here is a look at a few releases from different parts of the World.

Wovoka is band that fuses Native American, Indian and other ethnic genres to create a haunting and etheral musical landscape on A Final Hour in Beauty. The hypnotic drum beats and swirling voices are incredibly atmospheric.

Paganu Gadagramata (UPE Recording Company) is a collection of unusually-instrumented Latvian folk songs. Almost New Age-sounding, these songs capture the diverse and rich Latvian folk tradition, with songs about nature and adventure.

Croatia is another country that is often overlooked in terms of its music. Zivili is a band that seeks to preserve their Eastern European past, travelling thorugh Hungary, Solvenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Yugoslavia, where they performed for persons displaced by the war. Don't Forget is the band's appropriately-titled release which features traditional Serbian and Croatian songs and instrumentations.

Afro-Caribbean music takes on a unique flavor when the Equal Rites Band takes center stage. Lucia (Lion's Eye) combines funk, reggae and jazz to create a sound that would fit as African or Caribbean. Equal Rites is based in the New England area.

In the Latin American vein of Brazilian music, the pop stylings of Gardénia are sure to make waves in her native country and beyond - her new album is entitled Bo Kin Cre (Vidisco).