Sep 27, 2012

Franck Biyong & Massak - Visions of Kamerun


Born of Cameroonian Parents in 1973, Franck Biyong was attracted to music at a very early age. He spent most of his childhood in West Africa (Gabon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast) where he learned music. He initially attended piano lessons but liked better drums, percussions and rhythms that he heard everywhere while he was a youngster. The roots of his sound can be traced back then.

He left Africa at the age of 14, discovering new musical landscapes as he settled with his family in Europe. He switched to bass, then finally guitar and joined his first bands. In the meantime, he started recording and submitting his first demo tapes to various French and European labels. His works obtained better reception in England where he then settled for a couple of years and found inspiration in the newly born electro scene.

After Fela's death in 1997, Franck decided to return to France and pursue the musical struggle of the Black President in his own way. He formed his first band, launched the Afrolectric Music label and released his first records. As his reputation kept growing, he released crossover Afrobeat songs as singles. Distributed by some of the most influent independent labels these recordings helped him to gain more and more attention.

Franck released 8 albums comprising Afrobeat, Rock influences, ambitious African jazz suites beyond the boundaries of world music, and wrote an Afro-opera based on the history of African diasporas living on the French soil. The Paris' premiere of "Knowledge Identity Reconstruction" created a great deal of controversy, while adressing the issues of French colonial history and the shapes of African Art forms to come

Biyong operates outside the lines which map the trajectories of African musicians in and out of the continent. Fueled by the sound of West African rhythm and the energy of the West London broken beat, he brought his African musical roots into new directions.

Doing so, he layed down the fundaments of the Afrolectric sound of his various bands and gained a reputation over the last ten years as one of the very few authentic innovators of modern African Music leaning towards rock, jazz and electro sounds.

The most successful album Nuevo Afropean Jazz , designed by the heir of FELA. A jewel of humanity.
Listeners, listeners, here is the soundtrack of your future summer getaways: May 20, 2010, the talented and remarkable Franck BIYONG big band Massak reveal an album of correctness and a pleasing humility, a jewel of humanity defended by the new label Colored-Inc.
Ever an album World had reached such a balance between exploration Jazzy, rhythmic vivacity, depth Soul and cultural immersion. Visions Of Kamerun called, this disc explodes the boundaries and leads us to define a style of music that we call healthy Nuevo Afropean Jazz *. However, the transversality of the sixth album by Franck BIYONG can classify the radius World Pop Jazz & Soul of your store.
Visions Of Kamerun because is a perfect synthesis of different influences, provided a surprising maturity: registered in Cameroon with an undeniable spontaneity, 18 pieces consisting of nine ballads supported and spoken interludes 9 how to Talking Blues Bob Marley tell the story and a link with the South Europe, pose a questioning look and perplexed on this.
This year when we prepare to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Independence and the African World has eyes on South Africa during the World Cup Football, Franck BIYONG offers us a refreshing trip to the land of his ancestors to better understand the heart of Africa, their sensibility, their nostalgia, their hopes. The result is an intelligent but not intellectual music, both air and deep, haunting but catchy, transporting you on the road to the beach Douala, dreamy soul. You can see the blue ocean, ocher, green franc in the trees, benevolent smiles and glances.
Perfectly orchestrated compositions using traditional percussion delicate, supported by a battery of the most subtle jazzy afro: rhythm is present and captivating, just enough to create movement, small double. The bass is round about it and comforting, halfway between Funk and Ska, always trot. Minimalist riffs played by Franck BIYONG the guitar are delicious, subtle but always placed himself chaining tirelessly as dribbling the Indomitable Lions. Already noticed, the brass section Massak one of the best in the world of its kind, remember the energy of Sun Ra Arkestra, Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Fertile Ground or French fanfare of Those Who Walk Stand: adding power and gravity imperial nature of the thing, the more tropical moisture. Impressive sincerity, highlight the afro and soulful vocals, to attention to enable Franck BIYONG, Sandra Nkake and Gladys GAMBIA express their vocal solos on a velvet carpet, in perfect harmony with the group to release the better tune. Finally, between travel, relaxing interludes give us to learn and reflect on the words of the ancients, on a continent where knowledge is transmitted orally from generation to generation, it is surprising to enjoy the stories as if we were there, the time no longer matter.
Without no demagoguery, Visions Of Kamerun fascinate her positive energy, strength, African and jazz harmonies, its singularity, its mystery, its universality and accessibility. Valuable to a wide audience, it is never boring disc, to listen without moderation in your secret garden or on the road vacation. An endearing album essential, a real classic to share with friends.


01. Crossback
02. Mbengue The First
03. Bassa Land 
04. Sanaga 
05. Assiko
06. Calling
07. Native 
08. Dance Life
09. Ndokoti
10. Jingo
11. Essos
12. To The Lakes
13. Language 
14. U.P.C. 
15. Ritual
16. Independance
17. Um 
18. Bessima

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