Jean-Philippe Marthély


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These two vocalists from Kassav have previously recorded a few albums together. This is the first one under their own label, Martheloi, which is also the title of the album. This is high-quality, straight-ahead zouk with some spikes of intensity. However, one would expect more spark and creativity from vocalists of this caliber. They are basically mining the same zouk territory, and no new sound barriers are broken here. This is not to say that the album is in any way boring or completely lifeless. The introduction of new musicians to Kassav spin-off albums, such as Cameroonian bassist Guy N'Sangue, seems to indicate that some sort of injection was sought to bring zouk out of its doldrums. However, the combination of musicians is very tight, and they seem to have been playing together for years. There is carnival music here with pounds of percussion, zouk love, and some more varied zouk styles. For zouk lovers, when these two vocalists get together, it is always special occasion. This is no exception. However, there are better introductions to Kassav and their offspring for the novice zouk fan.

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