David Byrne Has Got His Ears Wide Open
James Hunter, New York Observer, 28 June 1999
FOR THE last 10 years, David Byrne has run Luaka Bop, the Manhattan-based record label that specializes in international pop, with Yale Evelev, formerly of the Icon world music imprint, which is now defunct. The label, a Warner Brothers affiliate, has felt some buzz and heat, as with the 1989 release of Brazil Classics 1: Beleza Tropical, which rode the heaviest wave of U.S. interest in that nation's pop since Frank Sinatra recorded with Antonio Carlos Jobim in the '60s. But other times, despite brilliant releases like 1996's Amai by the Portuguese singer Paulo Bragança, or heavily press-endorsed albums by the Anglo-Indian group Cornershop, Luaka Bop has seemed like a public version of Mr. Byrne's own private record collection, no less. But also no more.
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