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.

6 commentaires:

telefuß. a dit…

And sorry for not posting for so long. I won't do it again.

déjà lu : (

EtienneMenu a dit…

tu réussis l'exploit d'être relou même depuis la californie.

voltask a dit…

il est très bien le morceau de Kaysha

si jamais tu as trouvé le mp3 je le veux bien

ANU a dit…

les meilleurs synthés africains se trouvent dans le zouk love senegalais (ou cap-verdien).
cherchez de ce coté là.

ps : d'ailleurs, j'ai vécu une expérience similaire a celle de mr menu. En montant dans une voiture venue me chercher à mon arrivée a dakar, j'entendis dans l'autoradio un titre tout a fait hypnotisant, auquel je pense encore souvent, me demandant par la meme occasion si j'aurai le plaisir de le réentendre.

EtienneMenu a dit…

merci du conseil, je connnais quelques trucs de zouk love avec des synthés cools effectivement, mais le problème c'est que le beat est trop lent pour rendre le truc vraiment techno. mais je vais remater.

ANU a dit…

oui c'est sur que c'est plus la version africaine du R'N'B que de la techno