VA: "Antilles Mechant Bateau" LP
Born Bad Records present Antilles Mechant Bateau, a compilation of percussion-based music from Guadeloupe. More properly, the subject of this collection is musicians drumming on percussion as a way of asserting their creolized identity. Songs that tell, in veiled terms, a different reality from that what which mainlanders were fed. Special cases, with cries of joy and laments accompanied by cadences, as an invitation to trance, all immersed in the Caribbean melting pot of rhythm. A symbol of Guadeloupe's struggle for independence, the prominently featured ka drum became the soundtrack of a new generation, who sped up the tempo in the '70s and definitely transplanted it to town, while the plantation economy (the original soil of the ka drum) was in crisis. From then on, the old tambouyés (drummers) finally were celebrated as they should be: Anzala, Carnot, Serge Dolor, Ti Seles, Robert Loyson, Arthème Boisban, Esnard Boisdur, and especially Velo (born Marcel Lollia), who nevertheless died in misery, in the street, in 1984. As in the United States, blues and ka music fought the same battle against centuries of oppression, of negation, before finding the path to possible redemption. Between them, the same language, that of the Creole spirits, flooded the great ocean. This is what this selection is about, and its good, inborn sense of humor shouldn't hide the implicit commentaries. Here, jazz instills emancipating energy from established formats, giving these songs a musicality that rhymes with spirituality. From infernal cadences borrowing from the Latin rhythms of neighboring islands, to beguines with percussion-spiced tempos, to more laid-back -- nonetheless dark -- ballads, this compilation takes the listener back to the early hours of a movement of rebirth synonymous with recognition, a rejuvenation in which all the music of the Black Atlantic diaspora naturally intertwine, like a wave of sounds, of sense and blood, reminding us that an original culture emerged from the holds of those 'wicked boats', the trace of which remains starkly persistent in 2018.
Label: Born Bad Records
Release Date: 11/23/2018
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