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Boulpik  Konpa Lakay

Boulpik — Konpa Lakay (May 12th, 2014)

Boulpik — Konpa Lakay

EXCELLENT ALBUM Boulpik — Konpa Lakay & NOMINATED for 8th TAIS AWARDS/HARVEST PRIZE 2015
♦   Ces jours-ci sort le disque Kompa Lakay du groupe haïtien «Boulpik».
Drôle de groupe que ce Toubadou Boulpik, mélange hétéroclite, croisement de genre opiniâtre entre kompa acoustique, musique cubaine et folklore haïtien.
♦   Avec ce disque qui trouve exactement sa place entre Ti-Coca et les Haïti Twoubadou. Moins tourné vers les racines folk-vaudou de Ti-Coca et plus brute et sincère que les Twoubadou d’Haïti, Boulpik ouvre une voie singulière qui ramène le kompa à ses sources.
♦   C’est ainsi sans artifices ni amplification électrique superflue, armée de banjos et de «maniba» que Frankel Sifranc et sa bande cherchent, trouvent et jouent une musique de rue réconfortante et stimulante.
♦   Et quand Boulpik sonne électrique c’est pour nous faire revivre les meilleures heures du mini-jazz kompa des années 60 et 70, comme sur le titre Nèg Dafrik. Morceau qui prône la réconciliation à plus d’un titre. Autre chanson qui vaut particulièrement le détour : Jerémie, une ode à cette petite commune haïtienne du département de Grand’Anse dont le groupe est originaire. Qui rappelle elle aussi et à sa manière cette nostalgie, comme une carte postale désuète, d’un Haïti plus franchement «touristique», mais qui n’a pas perdu une once de son charme et de sa beauté originelle.
Location: Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Album release: 12 mai 2014
Record Label: Lusafrica
Duration:     49:54
Tracks:
01 Alakanpay     4:00
02 Boulpik Twoubadou     4:14
03 Si Lavi Te Fasil     3:33
04 Nèg Dafrik     3:59
05 Karol     4:41
06 Lakay     5:09
07 Rele     4:42
08 Jeremie     4:25
09 Twa Zan     4:04
10 Je reviens chez nous     3:41
11 Souvenir d'Afrique     3:50
12 Lavi a Di     3:36
2014 Lusafrica
Description:
♦   Boulpik is a Haitian group that resurrects the konpa musical style of the 1950's for a new generation. Konpa is a dance music that incorporates meringue music. This is not your typical meringue music; instead, Boulpik, which means "bullseye," produces a raw, organic, and country sound made from banjos, manoubas, and percussion with vocals. The mood of the music is very joyous and the instrumental arrangements are earthy and and enjoyable to say the least. This may have roots in folk music, but konpa, meringue, and Afro-Caribbean dance elements are the primary influence. The songs are in Haitian Creole and possess and strong nostalgic-tinged repertoire that blends perfectly with contemporary vocals. The tropical-infused, "Je Reviens Chez Nous," highlights the Canadian influence with a ballad not indigenous to Haiti. Overall, Boulpik hits the bullseye with Konpa Lakay. ~ Matthew Forss
♦   ‘Chèche lavi.’  Seek living. A two-word expression in Haitian Creole that sums up the phrase ‘Seeking ways of earning a living’ and suggests that a living is not something that comes easily, but a goal to be sought — as if you were on a quest for a lost prize or buried treasure. So Franckel Sifranc and his fellow musicians in Boulpik are seekers of life. Nothing particularly extraordinary has happened in their careers. In fact, their past is very like that of millions of other Haitians — except that they have a gift for music.
♦   Franckel’s story began around fifty years ago in La Grand Anse, the Republic of Haiti’s most remote region, far to the west. Thinking back to his childhood in the coastal village of Dame-Marie, he remembers the sounds of the ‘ti djaz’ (little jazz): acoustic bands of amateur musicians who were so called to distinguish them from the more prestigious ‘gwo djaz’ (big jazz) bands with their modern instruments and amplifiers. The ti djaz playing at provincial gatherings used rudimentary, often locally-made instruments: a six-string “Matamò” guitar (its name a reminder of the Trio Matamoros’s strong influence on the genre), a trè (a guitar of Cuban origin with three strings, sometimes doubled) or even a banjo. The instrumental line-up was completed by a three-string double bass or a maniboula (a plucked idiophone based on the Cuban marímbula) and percussion: a drum, maracas and scraping board or kaskayèt (claves) to accompany the vocal chorus that responded to the main singer.
♦   As a child growing up in a family of farm workers, Franckel had no idea he would one day use those instruments to “seek living”. Yet just a few years later, like thousands of other rural inhabitants, he was forced to leave the countryside for the capital, Port-au-Prince, whose population has risen from 500,000 to almost 3 million over the last 50 years. Aged 14, Franckel arrived in the city at the end of the 70s, invited by an elder brother who had gone into exile before him. Settling in the modest Delmas 4 neighborhood in the lower part of town, he found work as a handyman, earning 35 gourdes a month (about $7 US). He began to explore the capital and came across the many musicians who supplied the soundtrack for the city at night and entertained tourists (there were still many foreign visitors at the time). Finally, Franckel became a member of the “Ti Okap” band. Today, all that remains of the group’s career are the name of its leader and memories of its popular performances in different hotels. It was with the band that Franckel learned how to sing and play maracas and kaskayèt.
♦   Then in 1980, he decided to form his own group: “Frère Desjeunes”. He continued to play with them for more than twenty-four years, despite frequent interruptions caused by the endless sociopolitical upheavals that rocked the country. Then in 2004, Franckel tried a new approach, reforming the band as “Boulpik” with five younger musicians that he considered more talented and committed than their predecessors.
♦   His thirty-four year career means that Franckel Sifranc is one of Port-au-Prince’s most senior troubadours. He has no doubts about his status: “I’m the father — or rather the grandfather — of all the troubadour groups in the capital. Anyone who says they don’t know me can only be lying. So many musicians have been through the ranks of Frère Desjeunes and Boulpik, and I’ve worked with so many others.”
♦   Since Franckel started out, the situation in Haiti has changed radically. Musicians used to play to earn a little extra cash, but now they are completely reliant on their music as the only source of income for themselves and their families. Unlike many others, Boulpik’s musicians have refused to emigrate (always a temptation for ‘living seekers’). They still believe in their lucky star and display no signs of defeatism or self-pity, but rather a moving simplicity and an unshakable determination to trust in happiness and good cheer. As the song ‘Rele’ shows: “Nou gen yon talan / Pou nou devlope / Se twoubadou Bondye ba nou (…) / Annou chante lanmou / Annou chante lajwa / Annou chante lavi” (We have a gift to cultivate. It is the Good Lord who made us troubadours. We’ll sing of love, we’ll sing of joy, we’ll sing of life). Label: http://www.lusafrica.com/
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♦   E chissà che dopo il desert blues del Mali, il balkan beat, la congotronica, il kuduro, le primavere arabe elettroniche gli habitué dei sofà etnomusicologici non volgano le orecchie altrove; oltre l’ethio-jazz, la cumbia e la chica, fuori dalle melasse di bollywood e le devianze inguinali del baile funk magari arriva pure il turno di Haiti.
♦   Si perché è proprio nell’isola caraibica che si consuma uno dei paradossi socio-musicologici più vertiginosi di tutto il panorama sonoro dei cinque continenti: in un terra avara, impoverita e flagellata da catastrofi naturali e politiche si suona una delle musiche più divertenti e speranzose che si possano udire oggigiorno: la konpa (detta anche compas). quella interpretata da sei ragazzi dalla magrezza eloquente che si aggirano nei quartieri di Port-au-Prince come moderni troubadours a portare in giro gioia, ritmo, amore e speranza: in una parola sola Boulpik!
♦   Franckel Sifranc è il leader anziano (arrivare oltre i 40 ad Haiti non è da tutti) di questo gruppo: fondatore e sostenitore di questa idea musicale che affonda le radici nella sua infanzia vissuta nel villaggio costiero di Dame-Marie, lontano dalla capitale ed immerso nelle musiche dei gruppi amatoriali che suonavano ti djaz (il piccolo jazz) che si distingueva da quello delle grandi orchestre intrappolate nelle hall degli alberghi di lusso. un suono fisico, materico riprodotto con strumenti artigianali, costruiti alla meno peggio nelle baracche con il tetto di latta. la chitarra matamò (sei corde di derivazione cubana), quella trè (dal numero ridotto delle corde), il banjo e la maniboula (un idiofono straordinario diretto discendente della marímbula cubana) assieme a maracas e kaskayèt (legnetti) a sorreggere la polifonia delle voci.
♦   È lui stesso a raccontare la vita “spirituale” di questi troubadours metropolitani in un video promozionale dell’etichetta Lusafrica che si è accorta di loro ed ha prodotto il loro primo disco. e non poteva che essere la label parigina a testimoniare l’ennesima incarnazione della grande diaspora creola sparsa da tre secoli sulle sponde dell’Atlantico: Franckel Sifranc non si nasconde ed anzi rilancia con forza l’appartenenza spirituale al suolo africano; anche il singolo che hanno scelto per lanciare il disco parla un creolo comprensibile che non fa altro che ribadire il loro colore della pelle e la loro provenienza: questo è Nèg Dafrik!
♦   Cantare la gioia e la bellezza della vita in uno dei paesi più poveri al mondo è il vero ossimoro incarnato in queste dodici canzoni spensierate, che fanno ancheggiare dolcemente al ritmo quasi familiare di qualcosa di già udito (rumba congolese? una coladera?): la voce di Franckel Sifranc è ruvida quanto basta, potenziata sulla strada e lubrificata con qualche distillato di fortuna: di certo suona contemporaneamente antica e contemporanea ed è altamente contagiosa.
Also:
Par Laurence Aloir
:: http://www.rfimusique.com/actu-musique/musiques-monde/album/20140513-boulpik-konpa-lakay
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Boulpik.Official
Press: promo@lusafrica.com
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Boulpik  Konpa Lakay

 

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