Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

12 June 2013

Réunion




 Réunion is not really an independent nation. It is still a French owned island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about 120 miles southwest of Mauritius, the nearest island. Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other overseas departments, Réunion is also one of the 27 regions of France. It is considered an integral part of the Republic with the same status as those situated on the European mainland. It is the outermost region of the European Union.

Julien ‘Granmoun Lele’ Phileas was born on February 28, 1930 in Saint-Benoît, on the east coast of Réunion Island. Like most people on the island of Réunion, Julien is of mixed ethnicity. His father was a black Malabar-Tamil-Kafir & his mother was an Indian-Bata-Madagascan Creole. He had four brothers & four sisters. He followed his fathers path & got his first job at the Beaufonds "létablisseman" (establishment), a sugar plantation & factory, where he became a day laborer, then a metal worker, & then ‘head cook’ (lead sugar processor). He finally retired at 56 years, 3 months, & a gold watch.


The work of the sugarcane workers was extremely hard & the harsh environment of sugarcane factory never really showed up in their Saturday's pay. They got barely enough for a hand to mouth existence. The little that was left over after living expenses barely covered the purchase of enough rum to continue their ‘kabaré’ party until dawn. The Tamil religion, a variation of Hinduism, exists on Réunion in the form of fire-walking, animal sacrifices, abstinence, & magic. As for the ‘Kaffirs’, they perform rituals of Madagascan or African origin that are called services (sevis malgas or sevis kabarés).


It was during these ‘kabarés’ that Julien began his singing career. He was inspired by his uncle Arsène Madia. He was immediately bitten by the music bug. He saved up his meager pay & bought himself an accordion.


Along with his friend Tonga Lafa, he built up an ever growing following of fans. His style of maloya (a local blues of the once enslaved plantation workers, with a rolling beat similar to the better known sega, a traditional regional dance rhythm). On December 23, 1977, he formed his own troupe , a sort of family affair in which his thirteen children were at one time members (eight still belong). He then records four titles on a 45 which was the first of its kind for a musician from Saint-Pierre. Proclaiming proudly his African roots, Granmoun Lele creates trance music, voodoo trance songs for the spirit. His music is a mixture of traditional influences from Zanzibar, Mozambique, Somalia, Madagascar, & sometimes even of the Congo & Cameroon. But it is deeply & foremost Réunion.

Granmoun Lele, the Great Witchdoctor, the ‘dynamite father’ of the music of Réunion Island is back, at the head of his family group: with boundless energy; his powerful voice; his flamboyant chorus; his explosive drum section; & his inimitable groove. Dances, trances, nostalgia, colors, & emotion…the Maloya of Réunion Island shining like a supernova.

In full Creole, fin vye granmoun means being of advanced years, especially past middle age. It is a term of respect for an elder. It is due to the fact that at afternoon snack time, his mother always used to cry out "Julien, lé lait!" (Julien, the milk!), that he acquired the surname of ‘Lélé’ (lé lait).

After three years of struggle with severe kidney problems, Julien died on November 14, 2004 at the age of seventy-four.

 Granmoun Lélé – Zelvoula, Angouleme:Marabi, 2003. 
decryption code in comments

Tracklist –
Zelvoula
Zav Zav Miné
Sinibalala
L’année 2000 ans
Angalakanou
Massalé
Groovelélé
Zalou
Inéti
Marie Louise
Namouiman
Amélika

Hoodoo? You do. Do what? Remind me of a man.
What man? The man with the power. What power?
The power of hoodoo. Who do? You do. Do what?
Remind me of a man.

3 comments:

  1. GYMMAyFNqwGIS0yIZoo7ECmsT1ZOmBWHiWcXcxGei-0

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  2. Nice selection. A great record.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks.
      I really like this one.
      Next up is Mauritius & I know I've been posting a quite a bit of reggae (or at least seggae) but it originated on Mauritius. It's originator was on Kaya, pehaps the Bpb Marley of Africa & he was killed by the police while in custody for smoking ganga. It will be good.

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