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MP3 Grand Baton - Le Grand Baton

Caribbean Voodoo Metal

15 MP3 Songs
METAL/PUNK: Progressive Metal, WORLD: Caribbean

"Le Grand Baton" is the latest project of french, native Caribbean, guitarist composer and singer Jean-Christophe Maillard (aka Mbutu), well known for his work in Gwoka music (traditionnal drum music from Guadeloupe); it is a powerful fusion of this heritage with rock music.

For the first time, electric overdriven guitars are combined with the mighty goat skin "slave drum" known as "Ka" for a steady ethno-rooted-pop rock with unusual rythms and melodic lines... the "Rude Ka" music is born.

To describe his music, Jean-Christophe would refer to the "primitive-sophisticated" style of Jean-Michel Basquiat''s painting.

They already love it:

Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa...): "Damn, "File" sounds fantastic. Congratulations, great stuff here!"

Lyle Workman (Sting, Alice Cooper...): "every now and again, I''ll find music that is really cool - this is one of those times. Great music!!"

Ronan Chris Murphy (King Crimson...): "Wow! Very cool music!... I mean..c''est tres cool!!"

Marco Migliari (Peter Gabriel, Deep Purple...): "Bloody great work! I really like it, great playing and I like the album concept. Very, very interesting, and different, too."

With songs ranging from 3 to 8 minutes, one would say this is world-pop music (listening to the carnival percussion ensemble in the song "Filé",similar to Brazilian drums occasionally featured in Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Milton Nascimento''s songs) or a progressive rock experiment (in the spirit of King Crimson, Yes... talking about the freedom of expression of a song like "Toutlè Dépi Dé Jou" with its electro style intro "Dé Jou Avan").

Songs are written mostly in Creole language.

The Gwoka music:

Initially permitted because it sustained the morale of the slaves, then forbidden because it allowed them to assemble and encouraged a revolutionary spirit, the Ka drum was long a representation of degrading slave conditions – a shameful scar to be hidden. It is perhaps for this reason that it has now been reclaimed as a symbol of the identity and the independence of a people. In the 70s, the Ka drum was as much weapon, of speech and of song, as were the bombs at the time. Now rescued from history, its seven rhythms, with no polyrhythmic form, are what remains of the long journey from Africa.

Rock in the Caribbean:

It had to happen here - because of the unique geography of the Caribbean, under the direct influence of the colonizers’ metropolitan centers and their urban culture, and with the United States next door. These rebel and rural territories, fertilized by a rich blend of ethnicities, have given birth to many major musical styles and rhythmic pulses, each proving that mixing does not mean losing identity. Like the elders who adapted traditional European ballroom dance to their instincts, creating the Biguine, the Plena, the Son, so will the Carribean have its way with Rock.

People who are interested in Frank Zappa should consider this download.
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