DISSIDENTEN ``Sahara Elektrik'' (Shanachie 64005) - German punks meet Moroccan traditionals to create ``Moroccanroll'' - a captivating mixture of Middle Eastern melodies and rock rhythms. Step aside, Samantha Fox and Sa-fire; this music should be played in every disco. It's danceable, hummable, and really different. IN TUA NUA ``The Long Acre'' (Virgin 90948-1) - The Irish band combines traditional Celtic influences with rock. Sounds interesting, right? Unfortunately, not very. Aside from a couple of Celtic melodies and some violin solos, most of this is rather dull two- and three-chord rock-and-roll, with an occasional nod to U2. Lead singer Leslie Dowdall sounds a lot like Grace Slick.
BHUNDU BOYS ``True Jit'' (Mango/Island MLPS 9812) - The second album from this pop group from Zimbabwe is aimed at the American pop market, and loses in the process. The group still has the lilting rhythms, complex guitar countermelodies, and harmonically rich vocals, but whereas its first album was sung entirely in its native Shona language, half the songs here are in English. Fortunately, the group's live performances aren't watered down, as this this album might suggest.
STETSASONIC ``In Full Gear'' (Tommy Boy TBLP 1017) - The latest album from the creators of A.F.R.I.C.A., the anti-apartheid rap song and video. There's some socially conscious rap on this one (``Freedom or Death''); some R&B sounds in ``Sally''; a finger-popping defense of their own music (``Talkin' All That Jazz''); and even a little romance in a rap ballad, ``Float On,'' featuring the Force M.D.'s.
MARTI JONES ``Used Guitars'' (A&M CS 5208) - Marti Jones is a pop singer in the tradition of Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell. On her third album she's chosen some fine material, mostly dealing with male/female relationships. She has co-written three of the songs that are among the best of the lot. Janis Ian's sultry ballad ``Ruby'' is a real spine-tingler, and Jones does it justice.
DAVE BRUBECK ``Moscow Night'' (Concord Jazz CCD-4353) - Bill Smith's liquid clarinet brings fond memories of Paul Desmond's beautiful and sorely missed alto on this live concert recording from Moscow. Brubeck bludgeons the piano, as usual, attacking the keys in huge, clustered chords. Sometimes it's arresting, other times annoying. But after all, that's his trademark.
JIM BROCK ``Pasajes'' (Spindletop MRLP-1001) - Brock is a percussionist whose music is influenced by other cultures. Here he makes use of the Brazilian berimbau (a gourd resonator), the waumpa (a drum he invented), and congas, among other things. But the music is conceptually vague, moving back and forth between light jazz, new age, and Latin rhythms, without ever finding a successful blending of the three.