/ 0 make a rec“. " fiUSl%OU want - ,I

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to bring its brassy and incorrigibly rump-shifting equatorial grooves to venues in America. Japan and Europe. a rolling samba revue that‘s title to visit Glasgow Barrowlands (just a few miles away from his Dumbarton birthplace) as the only dates outside London on the British leg of the jaunt.

Rel Momo (the title refers to the annually elected King of the Rio Carnival) has been on Byrne’s mind for ,‘several years now‘ and sits alongside his two compilations of Brazil Classics as ample confirmation and expression of his develtiping love bf Latin music. ‘I used1togo to see Latin bands because they'were' better for dancing than discos and it was live music rather than records’ recalls pop‘s number one'thinking'pe rson , who actually lettpumbarton at two when the Byrnes emigrated to work in Canadat‘That was pretty much my introduction, then I went out and bought the records. discovering what [liked and what I didn‘t like.‘ A dream Opportunity to duet with ’the Queen ofSalsa‘ Celia Cruz on his song Loco de Amor for the soundtrack to Stop Making Sense director Jonathan Demme‘s 'yuppie-in-peril movie Something Wild proved so successful that before long Bryne found himself in a studio with a host of New York’s top Latin players for the fruitful sessions that producedthe new album. .

With the emphasis on the assorted percussion and nifty horn charts as much as Byrne’s increasingly exuberant and direct vocals (‘Now and then I get homy’ soars the unexpected opening salvo), this rhythm salad of ‘samba from Brazil, salsa from Cuba and New York, merengues from the Dominican Republic and cumbias f rom colombia’ seems a universe away from the clipped guitars. Psycho Killer-er al from that revelatory first

Heads 77 record. On the otherhand, it's exactly the kind of move you‘d expect from the man who'onlya few years later was pioneering Western pop‘s application of African in fluences on Talking Heads‘ early Eighties offerings Fear of Music and Remain

{is great if iéhirns . " - 413.5,. , n . Iii/I n1 2' tlable. but 1th - , I

music for The 1,.

antigeneral fontot‘ethnic _ giwritten a two; ,

I) mhas been tranlljn‘mmE: i118 MWsixteen-piece Latin big .9;

' apotheosis in last yew Naked

ofAfrican musicians). It could even

than th ,. ’7 clogs tei‘i gallon- of his movie True Stories and too many wide-eyed appearanofis on BBC‘s-iv‘ii Rhythms of The . forever purring over another indigenous form of terpsichoreagjactivity. which at times have almostgtgtrned him autof nerdy aftbore "

He lee-Whimself busy though. 222.; .1

Tgffor performance'iufyu .,: i

' Wilson‘s latest piece The‘Fomt. While these varied undertakings have taken him way out of the usual field (lp-video-tour etc) of the pop industry (‘As a form, rock'doesn’t give me the thrill it oncedid. It’s never again gonna have the cultural impact it‘s created in the past’), Talking Heads have all the same put ink to a new deal with Sire Records. Just don‘t expect another album from them next week.

release. recorded in Paris with a hostage

be that its unforced delight in melody?” rather easier to take 1%

‘To shake your rump is to be environmentally aware‘

Byrne’vswpress people have alreadyfii".

warned me that David gets very irritated byconstant questioning

~. about theband,sol,don‘t even

bother. He’s here to talk about his

new baby, and,boy, is he happy with-7


Maybe he’s just grown more relaxed of late, but the distanced and desperately ill-ahease figure of yesteryear‘s interviews has been replaced by a nearly amiable someone who just wants to tell you an awful lot about this great music he‘s been doing. ‘All the musicians I used on Rei Momo seemed to really enjoy being in the studio,’ enthuses the 37 year-old. ‘There seemed to be a feeling that I wasn’t trying to change their music. lwas actually changingto fit to them. I‘d come in and say ’Well, here’s this song I‘ve written, what rhythm can we do it in?‘ and we’d talk about it. Then we‘d keep the integrity of the musical style and there was no compromise.’

Now although Byrne‘s cohorts have been quick to praise his knowledge of allmanner of Latin instrumental variations. and there’s also a sense in which Rei Momo is very credible fusion between two very different musical spheres and sensibilities. surely he’s well aware

i that the promotional power of his status as a major white American rock artist will enable him to reap the mainstream charts with this music in a way that the Latin scene‘s long-standing major exponents

aid once by Willie

Billboard ... gmoaning the fact thatt gamma”,

ages and it‘s aggravatingyghen someone else is able to "

rock audience. That‘s

right. Now I‘m not 2';

these are my songs. But. youiy'j ,- at the same time people like Mite Colon are writing great too and they are underapprggigted. That‘s because the worldiyide record industryis set up the wafitis. Perhaggive‘re doing what‘swe can to

45,..changéfl1at,‘ f [For thyself. I had no guarantee].

this would all turn out. When”

andtthe band playedd’tttfirsth , ggfishow iii a little town out Of'NewTXork “fuelled Paughkeepsie. we were all” 1

reg-yrnervous. After one song the

I rpeople could‘ve been yellingout-‘lt' .a ,, , :Iyou don‘tplay Psycho Killerand '_

Burning Down The HouseWe’re' gonna throw rotten tomatoes at you! What is this shit?!’ But it didn't happen because thankfully they were very open to thermusic. In America. it’s a real'l‘alking Heads audie ncc we play to but they’ve all been havingagreat time.’ ' As the Stop Making Sense tour and movie demonstrated. Byrne himself behaves on stage like a man suffering

from third degree demonic

posession. Indeed. as far back as the

Jezebel Spirit track on the influential

Byrne~Eno My Life In The Bush of Ghosts record and his memOrable preacher feature in the Once In A

4’ .Llfetlmevid. he‘s always been

“fascinated by the connection

,‘between the dance groove and an

altered state of self-perception. In the notes to his excellent Brazil

[Classics'Vol 2 collection 0 Samba he ~ writes that ‘One can feel the direct

linkbetween the ecstatic release of

rhythmically based popular songs

and the spirituality that is their

roots’. ln conversation he adds that

‘it does free people a bit. I think it connects us with a certain part of ourselves that‘s often ignored in Western culture.‘

‘lfwe talk about the structure of the rhythms, when they’re syncopated, or polyrhythmic. . . when they swing more and hit you in

a more physical way your response is

to dance. Even if you‘re not a great dancer. and l’m certainly limited in What I can do. I think you get in touch with things it‘s dangerous‘to get out of touch with.

In the meantime. a hectic concert schedule should ensure a tightly~drilled outfit by the time the show hits Glasgow. David is clearly happy with the way things are going so far, and hopes to record again with the Rei Momo big band before long. Up on the stand. he’s the happiest gringo around: ‘It’s a big ego trip, that‘s what it is. You can get quite a noise out of a stack of Marshalls, but with all the brass that’s a really big sound.’

David Byrne plays Glasgow

Burro wland on December 1 70nd I 8. ‘Rei Momo' and ‘Brazil Classics Vol 2: 0 Samba’ are both available now on Luaka Bop/Sire Records.

p ,. '1;

.. hope to

atin b' band about to hit

and a new solo ei Momo in the

IShopstavid Byrne is only too happy to tell

Trevor Johnston all about the samba grooves that

1..“ provethere’s life aplenty outside of Talking Heads.

The List 8—21 December 19893