Arto Lindsay
Invoke CD – Righteous Babe

Arto Lindsay’s resume speaks for itself: an architect of the New York City no wave scene with the avant-noise band DNA; one half of the synth-driven pop-dance duo Ambitious Lovers; improvisational noise maker; prolific Brazilian pop eccentric. While his work with Ambitious Lovers was indeed a revelation, especially after the primal shrieks and dissonant vortex that DNA dispelled, it was with the embracing of his Brazilian heritage and its musical breadth that Lindsay would continue to break new ground. Beginning with 1995’s aptly titled A Subtle Body and the following year’s Mundo Civilizado (replete with sex-dripping cover of Prince’s “Erotic City”), Lindsay seamlessly coalesced a fabric of tropicalia, samba, drum n’ bass, funk, and electronica, while singing in a delicate Portugese tongue. 1998’s Noon Chill and 1999’s Prize followed similar terrain and the monotony was apparent, with the exception of skronk bursts suffused into the restrained arrangements. Once again, Invoke adheres to the same formula but leans on more experimental tangents. While lovely and affecting excursions, “Illuminated,” “Ultra Privileged,” and “Uma” explore the all-too-familiar territory of Lindsay’s earlier Brazilian-inflected records, but funky tracks like “You Decide,” with its electronic nuances, make up for the tedium. “Predigo” and “In the City That Reads” employs guitar grating skronk, experimental enhancement, and indecipherable vocals, evoking no wave imagery. When DNA disbanded, Arto Lindsay shelved the skronk and formed the innovative Ambitious Lovers. In the mid-Nineties, he assumed the guise of Brazilian troubadour. With the repetition of his last few records, it might be time for Arto Lindsay to try something different. I’m sure he has it in him. (Brad Cohan)



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