vendredi 9 mai 2008
Bab Lee - Tropical Mix (Sous les Cocotiers)
Three or four years ago, my best friend _____ took me and my girlfriend to this small squat place set up by Ivorian people on the east side of Paris (near Colonel-Fabien plaza, for those who know). We ate some brochettes and drank some cheap Heinekens. The «coupé-décalé» music they played was cool but maybe a bit too traditional for me, until I heard this uber-fantastic tune, cheesy-synth-driven and full of those ill percussion sounds, loosely but funkily programmed . The whole structure and attitude of the track sounded pretty un-African to me : slow build-ups, rocking synth riffs, and this hypnotic techno-ish groove ! Needless to say, it completely blew my mind.
I immediately tried to find out what it was, but the guys from the squat could just tell me it came from a cassette mix sent to them by people in Abidjan. I was devastated and tried to search the Web and some Afro record shops in Paris, but to no avail (« –You know this track that does “do-da-do-da-doooo-daahh” with this chord change and these techno-like sounds ? –No, but why don’t you just buy some of the coupé-décalé compilations we have here ? »). I finally had to give up the quest, quite saddened by this lost track affair. I ended up thinking I might have dreamt it or something.
Then in december 2006, ______ came by at my place one night and casually told me that he heard the track again and found out its ID. His Ivorian friend Armand had it on a compilation CD (I should’ve listened to what this record shop clerk told me !). The track had actually been an enormous hit in Abidjan and there was a video of it on Internet.
HALLELUJAH, like Kerri Chandler said (or had it said). I was feeling overexcited, and the tune was actually even better that I remembered. A true miracle : I was DOUX JÉSUS’d up.
So here’s the graal (clean audio version coming extremely soon).
The song is called « Tropical Mix (Sous les Cocotiers) », by Baboulax Lee, or Bab Lee, and was released on France by X-Pol Music. _____ even found me the contact of the label and I quickly met its CEO, Ephrem Youkpo, but that’s another story. Anyway, Bab Lee did another track called « Samuz », which is quite similar, except a bit more standard sounding, released on Uppercuts (Radioclit’s DJ Tron’s label). Since then, I discovered some other great coupé-décalé tracks that sound almost as hypnotic and strangely futuristic, like this instrumental tune by Kaysha – whose obviously coincidental title keeps fascinating me since I read it for the first time. If I have the time, I'll do a short post about this stuff, which can be really insane music-wise but also names-wise and culture-wise.
Hope you’ll enjoy this ! Roots and Future anyone ?
Oh and there's gonna be a great and funny interview of Babulax from my homie Voltask from CorporateBloggin. Coming extremely soon too. Maximum bisous to him.
And sorry for not posting for so long. I won't do it again.