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PANGAR releases a mixtape of experimental maloya
© Fabrice Cilpa

PANGAR releases a mixtape of experimental maloya

More than two years after the release of EP1, the duo announced their first album following a mixtape of dark electronic polyrhythms.

“PANGAR is coming back”, hammers the intro of Position, the mixtape announcing Kwalud and Betnwaar’s return. After the major slap of the brutal EP1, we turned the other cheek but didn’t plan Covid. Halfway between the energy of their island and a parallel world that we can imagine as underground, dystopian, or from beyond, the duo pushes their adopted Creole culture to the extreme in this 45 minutes mixtape in the form of a catch-up session. With this salvo of experimental polyrhythms in our eardrums and this video in our eyes, PAM wanted to know more about this cinematic approach, which also opens the doors to a first album.

PANGAR – Position Mixtape

What happened in these two years of silence after EP1?

I’m not gonna lie, the pandemic really slapped us in the face, and it happened right after the release of InFiné’s EP1. We weren’t able to keep defending our project on stage outside of the Reunion Island until May, with a first date at Lyon’s Festival Nuits Sonores. We still managed to put out two original singles in the meantime, for Nyege Nyege Tapes and Blanc Manioc, and a remix in collaboration with the Mayotte band Sarera, for a beautiful vinyl opus led by Kayamba and Blanc Manioc, called Walimizi

About the mixtape, how was it created? 

We’re big fans of hybrid formats, of soundtracks expanding further the universe of the tracks, telling stories. This mixtape showcases some parts of the music we have produced on the album. It puts it in an enhanced reality, moved by the caring spirits and voices of some Creole figures, coming from the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.

Which story did you want to tell in the video? 

The video blends three movies directed and shot in one day by our longtime collaborators: Samuel Malka and Freddy Leclerc. It’s 3 moments in 3 neighborhoods of Port, an abundant city boarding the ocean and going all the way to the Galets River, one of the Cirque de Mafate doors. Following the same idea as the mixtape, we wanted to take some liberties with the rigid format of music videos. The story is dystopian, showing two humans fending for themselves, without us really knowing who they are, or if they’re the last of their specie. It’s a story of life and survival, becoming more and more the same. It speaks of the violence in our contemporary societies and our lost innocence. It tells the story of a young island observing the world with wide eyes, like a kid, but knowing it’s getting fooled in the process. And then, the question is: out of these two characters, who’s the kid?

Why did you name it Position

A POSITION is where you are, first of all. That means a certain perspective, a certain conception of reality and basically different ways of imagining. It’s also the place you chose to “inhabit”, to occupy, so the sum of all your choices and struggles. And then it also relates to the specific situation of insular micro-societies like ours, where the center of the world is the island itself in a way. The island is the heartbeat, the refuge and the birthing place of our societies and identities all at the same time. 

What can we expect on the album? How is the music evolving? 

PANGAR is and will always be about experimentation, mixing bass music and creole rhythms, halfway between our childhood European city and La Réunion, the island we’ve been living in for the past 15 years. And here, we can really observe and feel the world moving. The album is more engaged, and more radical than our previous releases, but it’s still hybrid, in between worlds and it still plays with maloya’s codes or dancehall. We’re building this polyrhythmic alien, this obscure place around the equator, filled with insular sentiments. Our position.

The mixtape is available here. Position album out May 5th, following a release party at the Kabardock, La Réunion, with Greg, Ohjeelo and others artists from the island.