Album: BoogzBrown – 3883

The Indian Ocean Island of Reunion is an intense landscape with volcanos, tropical forests and idyllic beaches, matched equally by the intensity of the island’s culture, with its complex and proud history. Maloya, the percussive and infectious traditional music is a strong part of the social fabric equally serving as the vehicle of ritual and protest.

BoogzBrown who hails from this island is equal part visual artist as he is a musician, using his mediums with a finesse to explore and comment on this identity. 3883 his first EP notates his journey, a pattern and point in time. The investigation of patterns is a theme that runs throughout all of his work and in this case, the heavily syncopated drum programming that groves like Maloya’s unique combination of roulér, kayamb, pikér and sati overlaid with the slowly shifting electronic drum patterns such of a slower-paced Robert Hood.

The syncopated percussiveness leaves a tonal minimalism for melancholy melodies to tenderly form and reminisce like Felix Laband’s Dark Days Exit, lush bass-heavy saudade of Kurup, progressive development of Micheal Sifu and some Flying Lotus for good measure.

Galé’s ethereal pads and percussions take a different strategy, creating a soundscape for Francky Lauret to lament in the form of a fonnkèr, a Creole word for a state of mind and emotion unique to the people of Reunion that is expressed in the form of a poem, in this case describing the scenes of the violent crackdown by the police on the Gilets Jaunes or yellow vest movement in 2018. In this case, made more complex by the colonial tensions and economic crisis on the island still governed by France.

The series of tracks flow like in intense and fast-paced introverted techno at once dark and colourful, a headphone ritual that while forever shifting, grooves hard and passes by just as one grasps the scene that has been painted. Finishing just as one’s appetite for his sound is tickled.

A powerful debut from BoogzBrown on InFiné Music.

3883 is out now – buy from Bandcamp.

Ralph Smit

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