Zouk-love

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Zouk-love is the French Antilles cadence or compas music, characterized by a slow, soft and sexual rhythm. The lyrics of the songs often speak of love and sentimental problems.

In Africa, it is popular in Franco and lusophone countries. In Europe, it is particularly popular in France, and in North America in the Canadian province of Quebec.

Origins[edit]

Zouk béton or simply zouk was a brief experiment; an attempt to develop a proper local music that would lessen or even eradicate the meringue-kadans or compas influence from the French islands. When the MIDI technology came out, Kassav used it fully creating new sound in both their fast zouk beton and compas. The proud antilleans were all over with zouk But as other bands from the Caribbean and Africa added the MIDI technology to their music people get use to it. Because it was a jump up beat the fast zouk beton faded away In the same 80s and Antilleans would continue to play and dance meringue-cadence or konpa. After all French Antilleans and Dominicans are important players of the style. However, the problem is the fact that musicians from Martinique and Guadeloupe have calculatedly labeled compas as zouk or zouk love in order to remain on the map; creating a big confusion in Africa, Cabo Verde, Angola, Bresil, Portugal and other places. French Antilles kasav, the originator of the zouk beton is a superb compas music band that has taken konpa to many places.

Cadence (kadans)/konpa[edit]

As early as 1962 the Sicot Brothers from Haiti would frequently tour the Caribbean, especially Dominica, the French Islands of Martinique & Guadeloupe and others to spread the seed of cadence.

Webert Sicot, the originator of the first cadence band, recorded three LPs albums with French Antilles Promoters: two in Guadeloupe "Cilini disques" and one in Martinique "Balthazar". Often the band had a six months-contract to perform every week in Guadeloupe and Martinique. Many Haitian artists have since toured the French Caribbean on a regular basis with their powerful méringue (compas or cadence) for the great pleasure of these friendly people, nice public who have since adopted the dance and the music style.

Haitian bands were asked to integrate Antillean musicians thus Haitian influential Les Guais troubadours had French Antillean musicians. Guais troubadour, with influential singer Louis Lahens played a very important role in the schooling of Antillean to the méringue-compas music style. The band that recorded more than 3 albums in the French Antilles, was also the a coaching band for the French Antilleans to the style.

From the 50s-60s, talented Haitian artists and leading bands such as the Sicot brothers (Webert and Raymond), Joe Troillot, Nemours Jean-Baptiste, the very talented Maestro Michel Desgrottes, Garry French, Emile Volel, Ensembe Les guais troubadours with the popular Louis Lahens, orchestre Citadelle, jazz Guignard, etc. introduced their méringue (compas or cadence) to the Caribbean. Boa des iles and la Bananeraie would be favorite night-clubs for these bands. In Martinique, several music groups became popular with Nemours' compas tunes. Ensemble Abricots (Bienvenue, festival-compas), Les Djoubap’s (Isabelle), Combo Jazz (electronique compas, pa gadem sou cote), Georges Plonquitte (vini danse compas direct) etc. have all within a year conquered the public with the many tunes or compositions of Nemours.[1] These were followed by the Antillean mini-jazz bands like Les Gentlemen, Les Vikings de Guadeloupe, Les Leopards, Tabou # 2...and bands like Exile One, Grammacks, la Perfecta, Simon Jurade, kassav, etc.

From the 60s-80s, les Vickings, Les loups noirs, les ambassadeurs, les shleu shleu, ibo combo, Etoile du soir, les difficiles de Petion, les Gypsies de Pétionville, Tabou combo, Les Freres Dejean, les blousons verts, volo volo, Jet-X, Afro combo, Toto necessite, Rodrigue Millien, Coupe Cloue, Shougar combo, Les skah shah, Magnum band, Tropicana, Septan Trional and a great many have all toured in these Islands to coach artists.

Cadence-lypso (Dominica Kadans)[edit]

Main article: Cadence-lypso

Cadence-lypso is the Dominican kadans. The leading figure in the promotion of the Cadence-lypso was the Dominican group Exile One (based on the island of Guadeloupe) that combined elements of the Haitian Cadence rampa or compas with the Trinidadian calypso,[2] hence the name cadence-lypso; however, most of the bands repertoire was kadans. This fusion of kadans and calypso accounts only for a small percentage of the band's repertoire: Exile One like all Dominica kadans bands featured reggae, calypso and mostly kadans or compas music.

Gordon Henderson, the band leader and founder coined the name "Cadence-lypso" as the new name for his kadans. Gordon Henderson's Exile One was the first to use the newly arrived synthesizers in kadans. Many mini-jazz from Haiti and the French Antilles followed this format. Exile One exported kadans music to many places: Japan, the Indian Ocean, Africa, North America, Europe, The Cape Verde islands.

Aside from Exile One, other cadence bands included the Grammacks,[3] Black Roots, Black Machine, Naked Feet, Belles Combo, Mantra, Black Affairs, Liquid Ice, Wafrikai, Midnighte Groovers and Milestone, while the most famous singers included Bill Thomas, Chubby Marc, Gordon Henderson, Linford John, Janet Azouz, Sinky Rabess, Tony Valmond, Jeff Joseph, Mike Moreau and Anthony Gussie. Ophelia Marie is a popular singer of cadence in the 1980s.

Notable French Antillean compas artists[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dominique Janvier, introduction in Nemours' Album cover 1980, long vie to Nemours
  2. ^ By Paul Crask. "Zouk -Dominica". The Dominican. Reprinted from National Geographic. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ Most of these bands featured separated calypso, reggae and cadence tunes. Review Exile one CD 40 anniversary, Grammack collection 74-76 and others available at amazon music

External links[edit]

On Brazilian zouk: