Into The Deep Treasury`s latest carefully crafted compilation, Riddim Poetry, showcases a septet of French-Caribbean musical collisions, and opens with a trio of terrifically strong tracks. Essential selections in my book.
Tchai & Merger take the John Lennon-penned classic leftfield dancer, Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him, and give it a super cool Compass Point-esque make over. The semi-electronic, echoed production converting the “cod reggae” into the real thing – mid-way through delivering a big “Extended “Discomix” dubwise drop. Proficient percussionist turned TV / film music composer, Jean-Michel Bertand`s Dream Reggae is a slow, synth-y skank, punctuated by Linn Drum pops – perfect for sunset, sunrise, and, well, anytime the Sun`s shining.
Cheb Kader`s Reggae Rai is an eight-minute epic that mixes traditional Algerian elements in with its machined rhythm. Timbales and marimba joining the programmed, modular attack. Keys laying down a moody, Moog-y b-line, and squeezing in psyche organ stabs, while the sax player takes the spotlight and effectively solos, superbly, for the tune`s whole length.
The four remaining finds, of formerly buried sonic treasure, also don’t disappoint. Malian singer / songwriter, Mamadou Diawara, under an early alias, Nawari, is the musician behind Zon Mina Bali – wonderful West African disco-not-disco, worried by harpsichord harmonies, and wah-wah guitar, and sung in the band`s native tongue, Bambara. Originally from Guadeloupe, Ras Abbya, and his Freedom Fighters lace Love Love with ace electric axe licks. Nantes collective, Apartheid Not, contribute a couple of cuts. Listen, dating from 1982, is pop-y, zouk-y, happy, catchy, uncomplicated. Party music comparable to the best of Germany`s “burger highlife” counterparts. From 1986, Reality Now bears a striking resemblance to the electro-influenced mid-80s cross-cultural fusions released on Bill Laswell`s legendary label, Celluloid. Oberheim DMX patterns backing a Manu Dibango-esque horn, and infectious, partially scatted, sing along, group and lead vocals to rival Toure Kunda`s afro / cosmic favourite, E’mma.
Riddim Poetry is released on September 6th, care of Into The Deep Treasury.