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Les Vikings de la Guadeloupe

Best Of: Enko On Ti Tou

Release Notes
  • The return of the most important French Antillean band of the 60’s and the 70’s
  • A unique mix of Biguine, funk, Latin, Compas and early zouk
  • A selection of 15 of the best titles of the band that traces their musical adventure
  • This is the 2nd volume of the Antilles Series, it follows the reissue of Edmony Krater Tijan Pou Velo, more volumes to come!

The Vikings were Guadeloupe’s first true rock stars. They embodied the same spirit of liberty and anti-conformism as Led Zeppelin in 1960s Britain, The Impressions in U.S. soul around the same time and Ornette Coleman in the jazz world a few years earlier. They might not play out-and- out rock, but these young hipsters with their unorthodox dress sense reinvented the music of the tropics and shook up its conventions to such an extent that their songs still sound like the soundtrack of a society in the throes of radical change. Their popularity went through the roof after their debut gigs at La Cocoteraie, one of the trendiest clubs in the Gosier area of Pointe-à- Pitre.

Then the music of the Vikings will follow and customize all the major trends in world music, combining traditional music with funk, reggae and Cadanse see disco or pre-zouk at the dawn of the 80s. Find a selection of 15 of the best songs of the group that traces the musical adventure of this group that the planet world and groove rediscover around the world but also in France.

Camille Sopran’n, who founded the band with guitarist Guy Jacquet and bassist Pierre-Edouard Décimus, personally selected this compilation from the Vikings’ vast discography of about 20 albums, starting in 1967. They obviously inherited a lot from “roots music” (Gwo Ka), jazz and the beguine that had been played on the island since the late 19 th century, and of which they give a dazzlingly modern version on “Tou Touni”. Their music is buffeted by the artistic winds that were sweeping the Caribbean: “Rumbo Melon” is influenced by Latin music; “Assez Palé” is a cover of a number by the great Haitian saxophonist and composer Nemours Jean Baptiste, who is often presented as the inventor of kompa; and “Ambiance” offers a new take on “Guhe Huiamo” by the Ivory Coast singer Amédée Pierre.