The French hip-hop scene went global in the 90s thanks to MC Solaar. The French reggae scene hasn’t been as successful on a global level, even though there are several popular local artists, including Pierpoljak and Raggasonic, and to some extent the late Serge Gainbourg with his reggae efforts recorded in Jamaica in the 70s and 80s.
French trio Sound Dynamik manages to successfully combine these two dynamic genres on their solid 18 track debut album Reste a l’ecoute [Still Listening].
Sound Dynamik is more hard and raw a ’la Raggasonic, and less sweet and smooth as Pierpoljak. The beats are powerful and the riddims are militant. Not for the fainthearted.
Sound Dynamik comprises three vocalists – Don Pako, Puppa Nadem and Singa Melody – and they chat and sing their lyrics in French in a raggamuffin style.
Reste a l’ecoute has a high degree of energy and includes several highlights, especially Pour ma soiree, a version of the dread Swing Easy riddim, the dark Ras McBean combination Ghetto People Song and the pulsating Skarra Mucci combination Revolution, where the vocalists aims for the record in fast chatting.
Sets like this is often overlooked outside France since the lyrics is in French and not in English, but I highly suggest you set the language aside here and add Reste a l’ecoute to your playlist.
Legendary French deejay and singer duo Raggasonic is back after a ten year hiatus, where Big Red and Daddy Mory wanted to focus on their solo careers. Reputedly “everyone” has over the years asked them when they would link again, and apparently the pressure to record together became too hard.
Raggasonic 3 is their highly anticipated third album and it picks up just where Raggasonic 2 left off 15 years ago, and the new album is a natural follow-up and happily enough it offers more of the same good old Raggasonic.
It might have to do with world-renowned French producer Frenchie, who has been instrumental in shaping Raggasonic’s sound. He’s fortunately onboard again, but he’s not sole producer, and DJ Vadim, Animal Son, Central Massive and Young Veterans have also contributed with material to the album.
All riddims are brand new, except for Dans La Rue, backed by Frenchie’s Eek-A-Mouse-inspired Skateland Killer riddim, and offers a variety of styles and directions, including hip-hop, roots reggae, dancehall and electronica.
Raggasonic has never shied away from tough lyrical content, and on Raggasonic 3 the duo sings about the tough realities facing many people today, especially the younger generation. And they do it with passion and burning intensity.
This is an urban and contemporary effort, and even though it might not sell double gold, as the debut album did, but Raggasonic will hopefully appeal to a much wider audience today than 15 years ago. Don’t let the language be a barrier, and check out this solid album.