London-based musical institution, Beauty & The Beat, have been back throwing their quite rightly fabled parties for a while. They’ve now also reactivated their record label. Founding member, Cedric Woo, recently helped to co-curate the amazing Lèspri Ka compilation for affiliated imprint, Time Capsule – a record which served as a sort of sampler, a taster for the Gwoka genre. Here, Cedric collects, and in one case edits, three more passionately percussive Guadeloupean grooves that have proved to be huge hits at the crew’s sweaty, swinging, soirees. All feature the vocals of Michel Laurent, leading story-telling songs, riding a joyful toumblak rhythm.
A big bonus comes in the shape of a seismic remix of Gaoule Mizik`s A Ka Titine from Time Capsule`s Kay Suzuki – who retains the traditional, organic vibe, but machine-reinforces the infectious dance-floor ritual. Shifting the percussion through echo and phase, sending it spinning and swirling, he creates a veritable aural vortex. Adding sonar blips and Jamdown sound system / soundclash sirens, he shakes the track with hefty subs and claps of electronic thunder and lightning. Delivering something as dynamite and dynamic, as heady and hypnotic, as the delirious drum mixes of his own Afrobuddha releases.
Excursions In Gwoka Volume 1 is out now, on Beauty & The Beat.