Kriol Jazz Festival
“Poussière” EP – Sortie le 8 novembre 2019 – The Garden – Lusafrica
“Hors Sol” – Washi Washa – Warner – sortie septembre 2016
Among Rock poetry, dub pulsations and ternary rythms, Gren Sémé invents a brand new sound where creole and maloya from Reunion Island meet with Brel, Bashung and Noir Désir. Three years after a first album, largely hailed, the band reaches with their new album Hors Sol a perfect balance between strength and fragility and comes out as one of the most original voice on the French-speaking scene.
As much as it is impossible to grow a mango tree in three days, there is no shortcut to talk about Gren Sémé. In an era characterized by portmanteau words in which we tend to encompass various mix-breed notions rooted in our world’s cultural fusions, one is highly tempted to find a nickname for the intricate style originated by those five boys. With the release of their first recording in 2013, they cautiously introduce themselves as authors of “Progressive Maloya”.
The latest was extensively hailed for its noble ambition to highlight a major gravity center. Reunion Island’s ternary rythms, traditional Blues and Maloya and creole language were brought to the spotlights with the intention to assert an unprecedented freedom of movement. Gren Semé’s story is written in concentric and aerial circles all the way back from Reunion Island. Ten years after its creation by singer and author Carlo De Sacco, the band is searching for an identity on a growing territory where sound hallucinations extracted from dub, slam street atmospheres join French rock poetry flairs. One foot is set in a sugar cane field while one foot is set on a city sidewalk.
To capture those uncommon vibrations, it is required to use adapted antennas to those dimensions where music and words dare tapping outside written paths.
However, among other secrets, Gren Semé is gifted with beautiful encounters. This second album has been meticulously recorded with producer Jean Lamoot who collaborated with French authors such as Bashing and Noir Désir. From their collaboration a perfect balance between strength, elegance, groove and fragility is born.
Hors Sol implies a contradictory impression of classicism and singularity. An impression that it is all coming from a nonexistent ancient tradition or from a world where Brel would have paired with Fela, where Alain Peters would have tweaked synthesizer sounds, or even where surrealist fantasy would have been combined to Sega and Electro instead of Jazz and Java.
This world has nothing in common with ours. That’s why Carlo De Sacco takes pleasure in imagining it for us.
Gren Sémé poetic consciousness interferes with modernity’s existential illusions, with packaged dreams and with imaginary minds locked in common places. The authors have a way to look at the world’s unfolding with unpredictable understanding ; with the mindset of a child for whom friendship is an unshakable concept. After 10 years, this friendship keeps on feeding an enchanted adventure making this band an extraordinary endearing engine.