Loketo | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Beneath its surface merriment, the music of Loketo conceals a certain sadness. It's one of the most compelling examples of what happens to Zaire's buoyant soukous music when you levitate it out of its homeland and drop it on the elegant, high-powered metropolis of Paris. It sounds like soukous on too much caffeine, skipping fast and slamming hard, and what it gains in nervous energy it loses in rhythmic subtlety. But I'd hate to sound like a mindless purist--after all, this displacement really just reflects another phase in the evolution of that organized noise we call music, and Loketo's heavy reliance on the bass kick drum can evoke a heady exuberance. In fact, Loketo is great, as long as you're not hung up on expecting them to sound "authentic." But what makes this stuff most interesting is how if you listen closely you can actually hear that snaky Congolese beat contorting itself in the struggle to survive in an unfamiliar environment--and prevailing against the odds. Saturday, FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn; 708-788-2118.

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