Based in Mauritius, the band champions its sega heritage — traditional Indian Ocean rhythm — by mixing in electronic influences that have inspired international producers such as Sunken Cages, a New Yorker of Indian origin who couldn’t resist this organic blend.
The Babani Soundsystem collective offers a unique interpretation of its island culture. Between traditional sega rhythms and electronic influences, the group, signed to the Babani Records label, is composed of DJs, musicians and producers, and has become a major reference point in the Mauritian and Reunionese electronic scene. To reflect the ethnic mix of local culture, the Mauritian group composes a sound with multiple origins. Their Creole title “Zistwar Fer Per” evokes the legends of the archipelago that are used to scare children and to ensure their learning. The stories consist of mysterious nocturnal creatures answering the call of traditional percussion. As the kids grow, the fear dissipates and turns into a call to party! These spirit ceremonies are simply enchanting, even on stage, where the group accompanies its productions with impressive audiovisual performances. It is undeniable that Avneesh, Ayef, Gary Mach and Woréka have re-assigned value to music of the Indian Ocean.
The bewitching bass lines complemented by obscure synths were enough to seduce a producer like Sunken Cages (aka Ravish Momin) who brings out certain elements of the original piece, notably the singing and the sound of the ravanne — the drum of sega. Drummer, percussionist, and producer of electronic music, he played with the pop-star Shakira and, for fourteen years, led the famous electronic music group Tarana. Other remixes are to come, including ones from Kraut and Alma Negra on a forthcoming EP. Zistwar to follow!