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Monday, June 2, 2008

Sa Dingding

Alive (Wrasse)

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To call the Chinese regime unresponsive to its ethnic minorities would be the depth of diplomatic understatement. With well more than 50 minorities, from Tibetans to Mongolians, the great nation is packed with different traditions, many of them under duress. Inner Mongolian singer Sa Dingding has a sharp ear for the connections that run deep below the divisions, melding various musical traditions from within China’s borders into an organic whole and adding judicious touches of trip-hop and mild psychedelia. Alive is as intriguing and gorgeously low-key as the voice at the center of the music.