Lanmou Lanmou

A 8 track neo-soul album (25m 39s) — released March 11th 2022 on Underdog Records

No spot in music is immovable. No music can sit still but it's hardly ever as true as it is for Dowdelin, a band that can't be tied down to a single geography and genealogy. The creole language, Caribbean rhythms, urban energies, dazzling virtuosity, sensual electro: The group evolves in a unique place where genres and colors, heritage and audacity can merge.

Lanmou lanmou, Dowdelin's second album, muddies the waters, blurs the lines, bewilders. It does everything to assuage naysayers such as the conservatives and the lazies, the defenders of an official form of reggae, the right kind of zouk, the trademarked version of jazz or the historically validated biguine. As with the languages, culture and nations of the Caribbean which are never quite European nor completely African, it would be daunting to try and define where exactly Dowdelin is located on the official landscape of music in a Creole afro-futurism, at the crossroads of the black Atlantic...

The Dowdelin experiment finds its roots in a blend of encounters and loyalties: David Kiledjian AKA Dawatile, producer and multi-instrumentalist composer met Lyon-born singer from Martinique, Olivya. Together, they would jam and write songs in English. But, nothing felt right, until she started singing in Creole. Then everything made sense : the language of the French Antilles in the West Indies deployed its revolutionary universality.

David then got back in touch with Raphaël Philibert, a percussionist, saxophonist and singer who has always been involved in developing the field of gwo ka, the heavily percussion-based traditional music of Guadeloupe, of which his relative, Georges Troupé, is a pioneering defender. All this gave birth to Dowdelin and the obvious is striking.

We're reminded that when the poet and theoretician Édouard Glissant speaks of Creoleness as a whirlwind of unpredictability, he speaks of an adventure that couldn't be foretold in the world's istory : From Europeans and Africans forced into a third continent with an insane dream to build a New World, languages, cultures, music in other words mixed heritages, catharsis, diziness, resiliance were born through the mass crimes of slavery and the dispoilment of Native American populations.

Dowdelin released their debut album, Carnival Odyssey, in 2018.Connoisseurs took an appetite for that music with constantly shifting boundaries and countless relatives. This is confirmation that purity activists will always have problems with mixed identities saying things such as "This isn't jazzy enough for my festival", "It's too much for mine" ... But many concerts were performed mostly in Great Britain and France and quite a buzz among those who love unbound music.

The band then expands with the arrival of Greg Boudras, a drummer who has worked with David on other projects such as Vaudou Game, Fowatile, The Bongo Hop to name a few, in order to bring reinforcement to Dowdelin and help craft this second album.

What's the blueprint for it ? "We're not trying to pile up experiences or willfully make a collection of experiences," David sums up. It's more about feelings, about combinations that occur subconsciously. So sometimes we come up with things that surprise even us, like a fragment of an English synth pop hit, that only we recognize. The same recipe's never used twice: it can be a song I made at home with my instruments and my daughter's toys or sound designs to which Raphaël and Greg add rhythmic elements that change everything, or even more collective compositions… "

Then the verses emerge, written in Creole, English or French by David and Raphaël, who also happens to be a trained linguist and knowledgeable in the miscellaneous varieties of Creole. Messages of love and struggle, of brotherhood and memory ... And, from one track to the other, the generous burst of creolization is still at work, biguine blending with hip hop, contemporary jazz mixing with reggae, Creole expressing itself through the vast array of musics to which it is related...

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