For its 3rd episode of 1PLACE4BEATS, Radio Chiguiro heads to Reunion Island to meet four unique producers inspired by ancestral rhythms
In June, we were writing about the previous episode of this series, dedicated to highlighting a country or an island through four producers. From the underground hybrid music of Egypt, Radio Chiguiro flies to Reunion Island, a place naturally rich in musical gems. With maloya as a backdrop, Agnesca, Boogzbrown, Eat My Butterfly and BeBass deliver beautiful and complex pieces where polyrhythms challenge electronic music, modelling the sound of their ancestors in the present.
Eat My Butterfly is part of this generation of young artists who embrace maloya with a modern and synthetic freshness. Revealed with the Spring EP released on Swiss label Les Disques du Bord de l’Eau, the multi-instrumentalist followed up on the Shika Shika label with Labalamer, a little gem of electronic Creole poetry. She then collaborated with the great Christine Salem, Aleksand Saya and her friend Sibu Manaï who appears on backing vocals on “Somin Tit Ile”, a new electro-pop nugget which delicately introduces this EP. She is talking about the path of Petite Ile, between Saint Pierre and Saint Joseph, where her family comes from. It’s the autobiographical story of the expatriate who returns to the paths of her childhood, seeing the turns, smelling the fragrances, and feeling the memories coming back. All this culture, these values, this “creoleness” for finally living in France. Sibu Manaï is singing “Pray for me” at the end, like the end of the dream where you have to leave to succeed, the end of the belief of fulfilment through the separation from the island.
Then comes Boogzbrown, an essential architect of Reunion electronic music. He has distinguished himself several times on the brilliant InFiné label on his solid EP 3883, or during his collaboration with the Mexican Cubenx. After delivering the complex dancefloor “Dandamé” for Chiguiro’s ACIL charity compilation. The visual artist tells the story of his island like no other and offers here “Madurai” as a reference to the Indian region, but also the abbreviation of the Indian deity Madurai Veeran. A new intoxicating and hypnotic polyrhythmic banger from the unavoidable Boogzbrown!
Discovered on the essential Digital Kabar compilation released on InFiné, Agnesca was merging dubstep with Indian and Creole sounds on the track “Bilimbi”. Co-founder of the collective The Beat Club, she defends electronic music influenced by maloya sounds and her trips to European and American clubs. For this EP, she offers “Petit Bazar”, which is a neighbourhood located on the east side of the island, historically occupied by the Malbar people, the Indian people of Reunion Island. A dubby and atmospheric two-speed piece that would perfectly introduce a hybrid set.
Last but not least, BeBass is ready to come out of the shadow. He already distinguished himself with a percussive remix of “Déor” by Eat My Butterfly, and his rework for Warfield, pioneers of the fusion between maloya and metal, one of his great influences. Between melancholy and euphoria, he likes to compare his music to the emotions of the Ghibli film soundtracks and intends to prove it with this first official piece. By borrowing its beat from traditional Reunion rhythms, the powerful “Batay Cok” releases a tough energy, like the skin of the Bibasse, the fruit of the medlar tree to which his name refers. A massive track that you can listen to in CxC before everybody else!
“BeBass takes you in the “batay cok” circle. In a pale white light, on an earth-coloured floor surrounded by metal sheets, the fighters observe each other and jump into a merciless battle. Kan cok batay i perd, oublie pa kass son kolé”
The EP will be released on October 20th on all platforms, pre-order now on Bandcamp.