KonsöLe (Antoine Tichon) and Natty Hô (Dinh Nguyen) form La Basse Tropicale, a pair of DJs based on the island of Reunion who collect old sounds from the Indian Ocean and concoct mixcloud 100% old vinyls. Recently they selected the two excellent compilations ‘Oté Maloya’ and ‘Soul Sok Séga’, released on Strut. So it was time they united their minds in order to choose five gems, somewhere between Puerto Rico and La Reunion… Perfectly at the center point of the dancehall.
Ah Wo (Brand New Revolution)
«This record was in my wantlist for a while when I saw a repress, thanks to Analog Africa !
Also know as Anthony Emrold Phillip, Bro Valentino did this masterpiece which goes far beyond Calypso music itself. There’s everything I like in this track : deep vibe with percussions, keys, horns. As well as strong political content which makes it a great conscious piece of music created at the end of the tumultuous 70’s with the echoes of Black Power Revolution. The lyrics are so relevant, even today.
I spinned it not later than last weekend, I didn’t know what to expect since people don’t really listen to this kind of music over her. I was amazingly surprised to hear the crowd singing on the chorus. The pace is just perfect too, combined to the catchy keys and ahorns gimmicks, you just can’t resist the dance.»
Dou Se Vou Ki Siwo
«Sadi Lancreot may be clearly identified as a Zouk singer, this track is nonetheless a complete UFO in my record bag ! To be honest, I don’t know much about the artist, I discovered this one tracker about 6 years ago. But it’ was composed by one of the most talented and prolific musician of French Antilles to say the least, member of Kassav’ as a bassist alongside Jean-Claude Naimro and Patrick Saint-Eloi just to name a few.
The bassline is one of the funkiest I know. Of course, it doesn’t start right away which cleverly gives the audience the chance to dive in the deep first before being caught by the groove. This love song with spacey synth components quickly becomes very obsessive as the pace goes on, then leads you to an unbelievable 90’s dubby break. Haunting until the end, it’s always a challenge to choose the right tune that goes after.»
«Salsa, afro cuban jazz, is my most favourite style and will probably be forever. I chose this track among others because I bought and played it out recently. It’s my kind of salsa, I could listen to dozens of similar tracks this all night long.
It’s the B-side of an EP on Rico Records (Rico-345, 1975, New York City), taken from the LP “El Regreso de Joe Valle”. Born in NYC in 1921, Joe Valle performed in the Cesar Concepcion orchestra during the 50’s, the “mambo fever” era in most of the latin nightclubs in New York. Then he returned to Puerto Rico for 1972, where he died in 1980. “Castigala” was written by Raul Marrero, the Puertorican musician.»
«I love music from Angola. From Merengue, Semba to Kuduro, Kizomba, Azonto… This track is from a singer called Tonito, who wrote many Angolese music anthems. It’s taken from the album “Êxitos de Hose”. It’s a compilation of singers backed by the famous orchestra “Os Merengues”, and recorded in 1985 by Artur Arriscado in the studios of the National Radio of Angola (Radio Nacional de Angola). It features other nice tracks, including some by stars such as Carlos Lamartine or Voto Goncalves… I chose this one as it’s a great one for the dancefloor.»
[Konsöle & Natty Hô]
Marie-Helen et ses Créol’s
«Taken from our second compilation on Strut Records, “Oté Maloya”, which focuses on the music of Reunion Island at the end of the 70’s and the beginning of the 80’s, a very specific time when traditional maloya was considered as protesting music. This would lead young creole musicians to use the rhythm elements and mix them with modern instruments and western influences (Soul, Jazz, Psyche Funk…). But this track is actually the only one on the compilation which is not Maloya but indeed 100% Séga.
The original 45 was initially made song for a play, written in 1981 by Emmanuel Genvrin and Jean-Luc Trulès, leaders of the legendary Théatre Vollard. Sung by Marie-Hélène Dormeuil, actress and sister of the theatre most emblematic comedian Arnaud Dormeuil. He plays the character named “Séga” who always loses in sports activities. Lyrics contains lots of name-dropping about famous athletes at the time. This is a quirky little track, the original 45 was well produced and sounds fantastic. Heavy basslin, keys and horns in full effect, latin-ish vibe, definitely a floor-filler not only in La Réunion as we’ve heard!»