Magazine article New Internationalist

Mapou

Magazine article New Internationalist

Mapou

Article excerpt

Mapou

by René Lacaille

(Riverboat TUG 1033 CD)

Hearing René Lacaille for the first time is like discovering Serge Gainsbourg adrift in the Indian Ocean - while a blast of his accordion suggests that French band Les Negresses Vertes might be floating around with him too. Hailing from La Réunion, Lacaille's music is one of the island's biggest and most prized exports. Mapou tells you why.

Named after a type of sugar cane, Mapou dances its own exuberant path between a disparate range of influences. Partially instrumental, the songs are sung in Creole in the raspy tones of Gainsbourg. French and English translations are also given, along with brief details of each song's imagery. And while a flexible accordion dominates, the percussive rhythms that underpin Lacaille's music are drawn from home and abroad. …

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