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22 octobre 2009

RAPH DUMAS & THE PRIMAVERAS – Ode To Tanguy Jo

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During the last 15 years, Raph Dumas has done it all. He counts record shop owner, label manager, DJ, stage performer, producer and many other occupations as his job. After flooring dancers in clubs recently with tracks such as Multi-Electronics and A Rare Toy (Lace Recordings), Raph now takes up a different job completely. As bandleader of The Primaveras (« Springs » in Spanish and Catalan), Dumas provides a mind-blowing musical history lesson that focuses on his homeland of Catalonia.

This is a very personal project, as Tanguy Jowas the nickname of Raph Dumas’s grandfather, a Spanish-Catalonian refugee hunted by Franco’s army. In 1939, Tanguy Jo settled Port-Vendres, a small fishing city in Northern Catalonia. Tanguy Jo started an Orchestre de Bal Traditionnel (literally orchestra of traditional balls) with other Spanish immigrants and musicians from Barcelona. The act became one of the first fusion bands to blend traditional Catalan instruments with electric guitars, drums, keyboards and other modern gear.The band became successful and played all over Northern Catalonia for many years. However, in the late sixties, competition from orchestras playing popular songs and burgeoning DJ based entertainment in nightclubs forced the musical outfit out of business. Tanguy Jo had to sell all his equipment and take a job working in Port-Vendres’ fishing port, later driving round Europe selling mussels from a truck. There are no recordings left from Tanguy Jo’s band and only a few photographs show their existence. Raph’s grandfather never mentioned anything to him about this part of his life, because he considered himself a failed musician.

The Primaveras project is a modern interpretation of band’s music in its glory days, with the same desire to fuse the heritage of Catalonia with modern musical ideas. Mr. Dumas provides cool samples and smart scratches to this project, whilst the band provides considerable musical muscle. Another important role is played by French Saxophone hero Alex Augé, who has worked with the likes of The Wailers and Regg’lys. Augé supplies amazing brass arrangements, which are very important to this project. The other members of Primaveras are Patrick Félicès (bass), Thierry Lopez (Guitar), Sébastien Sanz (Keyboards), Vincent Vidalou (Tible and Tenora – traditional Catalonian woodwind instruments), Frédéric Guisset (Flute and Flaviol – Flaviol is a Catalonian flute) and Georges Vaills (Trombone). On occasions, the band is joined by La Cobla Catalana Mil.Lenaria, a Catalan instrumental ensemble that accompanies the traditional Catalonian La Sardanadance. La Cobla Catalana Mil.Lenaria gives the group a big band set up in live environments.

The first LP from Raph Dumas & the Primaveras entitled Ode to Tanguy Jo is a unique album. The title refers to the classic Ode To Billie Joe song and is a tribute to Tanguy Jo and his secret band. It explores various musical horizons, melding together gutsy rhythms from various dance genres with improvisational ideals from jazz, raw funk power and ancestral Catalonian sounds. On paper, this musical mix sounds hard to stomach, but the various flavours work together wonderfully. There are a number of highlights on this remarkable album. Le Chanson Douce (Soul Long Edit) is a playful ditty featuring a twanging plastic guitar, reliable percussion and sweet vocals from Dumas’s 4 year old daughter Lou. Zodiac is a jumping jazz effort, with sprightly sax, pushy trombones and kicking drums. Week End (BCN Edit) is a riotous celebration of the time to party, where grooving guitars, lovely strings and looped vocals play their part. The album brims with excitement and individual character from start to finish.

Ode to Tanguy Jo appears via the Catalonian based Enjoy Recordings stable. The label courts diverse artists, putting out records by the likes of Swedish electronic king Hakan Lidbo, Paris based house artist Max Cherry and early house revivalists Legal Disko. This personal album from Raph Dumas and his trusty band shows that the label is not afraid to take musical risks and supports the rich heritage of the Catalonian region.

CD

  1. Intro
  2. Puzzle Funk
  3. Le Chanson Douce (Soul Long Edit)
  4. Zodiac
  5. Trip
  6. Alex et ses Potes
  7. Mpk
  8. Muntanyes del Canig
  9. Max the Drummer
  10. When I Was
  11. Weekendterlude
  12. Week End (BCN Edit)
  13. Dissabte
  14. Big Beat Devil
  15. I’m & Go
  16. Repercussions

Vinyl

A SIDE

  1. Puzzle Funk
  2. Le Chanson Douce (Soul Long Edit)
  3. Zodiac
  4. Trip
  5. Alex et ses Potes
  6. Dissabte

B SIDE

  1. MPK
  2. Week End (BCN Edit)
  3. When I Was
  4. Max the Drummer
  5. Big Beat Devil
  6. Muntanyes del Canigo
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