The power of this superb music, by an artist of the highest order from the island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, so stuns me that I am at a loss for words.
Every track is its own universe.
Bandcamp, bless you.
Favorite track: Benoîte (feat. Nathalie Natiembé).
Labelle hails from Saint-Denis de la Réunion, His home is at the top of an apartment block in the centre of the island’s capital. It’s a belvedere overlooking the rich and extravagant cultural crossroads of Saint-Denis de la Reunion, a laboratory of Creolism and musical blending, where he composes his music on hi-tech machines, sketching out celestial electronic symphonies whilst cultivating a deep connection with the soil.
His sophomore album is entitled univers-île and features a dreamy, hypnotic collection of new studio recordings that span electronica, new age zither jams and off-kilter syncopated percussion with occasional ambient and techno influences.
It also includes the collaborations of some of La Reunion finest vocal musicians ( Zanmari Baré, Nathalie Natiembé, Maya Kamaty and Hasawa) and as well as respected instrumentists from the jazz and world music circuits ( Ballaké Sissiko, Prakash Sontakke, Joao Ferreira ).
released September 8, 2017
All tracks are written, performed and mixed by Labelle
Additional credits for
‘Kou D’Zèl’ vocal by Zanmari Baré, ‘Benoîte’ vocal by Nathalie Natiembé, ‘Soul Introspection’ slide-guitar by Prakash Sontakke, ‘Souviens-toi’ Fon’Ker by Hasawa, ‘Om’ vocal by Maya Kamaty, ‘Observateur’ flute by João Ferreira, ‘Grand Maitre’ kora by Ballaké Sissoko
Mastering by Benjamin Joubert
A&R Antoine Rajon
Artwork by Kid Kreol & Boogie
Like the soundtrack to a grand SF/horror movie, Versus builds tension quickly before spreading it across an epic soundscape. I try to minimise the number of genres in my collection, so have filed this as 'ambient', but it's a much more engaging listening experience than some would infer from that label. Rich Hims