Rupa & The April Fishes

Extraordinary Rendition

2008-04-28

One of the best things about Extraordinary Rendition (Cumbancha) by San Francisco-based Rupa and the April Fishes is that the music doesn't sound the least bit like a product of the USA. Unlike most homegrown world beat, this blend of gypsy swing, French cabaret, tango, and other styles comes across with an oddly organic charm that never seems forced. That's because American-born Rupa Marya brings the fruits of her upbringing in southern France, the US, and India, welding her wanderlust to a chanteuse persona. Peak tracks like "Plus Que Moi" (#9) are like little slices of a rousing, rollicking theatrical revue from a bygone era, full of tempo changes, mood shifts, and ungodly clatter. The pistonic throttle of "Poder" (#3) puts the ghost of Brecht-Weill in overdrive. Rupa and her Fish wriggle into not just the cleft between cultures, but also the fissure between eras. Even slow cooker "La Pecheuse" (#6), which drifts into a dreamy middle section with falsetto vocal, feels as if it's been sprinkled with nostalgia. -- Bob Tarte

Quick Links:

More reviews tagged #World

  • reviewed 12/2006

    RAHIM ALHAJ
    When the Soul is Settled: Music of Iraq

  • reviewed 05/2007

    JEF STOTT
    SoukSonik

  • reviewed 01/2006

    PATRICE LAROSE AND JULIA SARR
    Set Luna

  • reviewed 03/2017

    MadeinTYO
    THANK YOU, MR. TOKYO

  • reviewed 08/2016

    Corbu
    Crayon Soul

  • reviewed 12/2010

    BUJU BANTON
    Before the Dawn

Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.