An awesome new release just graced our desk here in TILBURG, where the sun has finally driven away the cold winter winds. Maybe it was because of this cd that winter decided to back off, I dont know, but this is a great album. From the moment that crunched guitar and the autotuned voice kick in, you know this is going to be something special… The vocalists are all originally from Ivory Coast, and have relocated to Paris for obvious reasons for years now. Together with some rather famous German and French friends they’ve updated the COUPE DECALER sound, one of the most important contemporary forms of African Pop music. The main beat is a fast, triplet rhythm on top of a 4/4 kickdrum and is borrowed from the Congo. Lyrics are the equevalent of rap music, boasting the singer/rapper and his/her lifestyle, all in glam form of course..
the cd sounds totally 2012, hypermodern production and sharp and crisp beats create a driving engine for the African energy that is channeled through the vocals. Uptempo tracks like ‘brainwash’ get followed by introvert and slow, dark cuts like ‘Can’t go back to New Black’, and together they create a great listening experience and a real ‘album’ feel. My favorite cuts are the uptempo tracks and the smash is the utterly crazy ‘Place’, over the top screaming over a piano stomp. man, awesome stuff, really awesome! check the video below:
We found a real cool lil interview over HERE, which holds some more info on the project and the cd release:
Where did Couper Decaler come from?
Couper Decaler was invented in the 2002/2003 in Paris by a group of young Ivorian men, who called themselves “La Jet Set”. Their leader named himself after the president Douk Saga and they created the style, dance moves and important slogans, that define Couper Decaler. The group has an anarchistic, shameless and competitive spiri,t that involves showing off a lot in a very creative way. The outstanding, subversive act was to change the social order by using the names of important roles like the banker, the ambassador, Sarkozy, Lino Versace etc. At the same time in 2002 there were DJs and musicians in Ivory Coast working on mainly congolese beats and changing them into what you call today Couper Decaler beats. “When it rains in Paris, it is getting wet in Abidjan and the other way round” – Ivorians in Paris are always in direct contact with Abidjan.
And they transferred the sound back to Abidjan?
Yes, in 2003 La Jet Set came to Abidjan and took over the music market in an artistic coup. It became very successfull very fast and today it is the leading club music in Ivory Coast spreading to other West African Countries.
Who produced the New Black album?
New Black was produced with Couper Decaler’s star singers and producers in collaboration with European and American singers and producers, so it is not a pure Couper Decaler album. It is an absolutely new combination with the individual influences of participants such as Ted Gaier and Melissa Logan. It has a big Couper Decaler impact as Skelly, Shaggy Sharoof Gadoukou la Star and Champy Kilo are protagonists of this scene. But I must stress, it is not a pure Couper Decaler album. It is something absolutely new! New Black!
Who was the driving force?
The theatre director Monika Gintersdorfer and the artist Knut Klaßen are the driving forces. Since 2004 they have being working with Ivorian dancers and singers in collaboration with German artists and in 2010 and 2011 they created a project named Rue Princesse , where they invited Erobique, Jacques Palminger, Melissa Logan, Nadine Jessen and Ted Gaier to come to Abidjan and join their Ivorian team to perform theatre and music in differnet spaces all over the city. So they’ve already done some hot club performances in Abidjan. Later they also included Timor Litzenberger as producer to their team doing more songs in Hamburg, Berlin and Krems in the context of Gintersdorfer/Klaßen festivals.
Can you tell us anything about the music scene in Abidjan?
Abidjan is known as a showbiz hot spot, where people from all over Africa like to produce music and do their promo. Popular styles are Couper Decaler, Zouglou, Reggae, Zouk. Abidjan has thousands of clubs in all categories and the population loves to go out. Very famous is a street full of clubs named Rue Princesse.
How was the experience of having the production between Abidjan, Paris and Hamburg?
In Abidjan we went to the studio of Champy Kilo and Elvis Segonde to produce there. Erobique also set up an improvised studio in our home to prepare the songs advised by Shaggy Sharoof in Couper decaler style. In Berlin we improvised in a studio at Haus der Kulturen der Welt during our festival and in Hamburg we worked at Kampnagel studio and later on in Timor Litzenberger’s studio in Krems. At Donaufestival we also set up ourselves an improvised studio. Monika Gintersdorfer did the translation between the Ivorians and the Germans, sometimes proposing topics or texts for the song and. The producers worked in collaboration exchanging sounds and ideas – so there was a lot of teamwork going on. Every song reflects the mixture of the individual approach of the participants – so you will hear them all!
of course there’s a lot of COUPE DECALER also on soundcloud, check out some of these dudes:
We at GENERATION BASS are of course lucky enough to recieve not ONE but TWO copies of this cd, so the one who can answer a quick question in the COMMENTS BELOW THIS POST, wins a free, sealed copy of this REALLY great cd. Question: WHICH FAMOUS GERMAN PUNK/ELECTRO TRIO IS COLLABORATING ON THIS CD? be quick and precise and you’ll get the cd in the mail. let’s goooooo!