Published Jul 20, 2007Much like the esteemed work of a social science professor, the multi-stylistic music of Marie Daulne and her Zap Mama family has been a lifelong case study in cultural interaction, with the sonic themes of each new disc swelling to meet their unending worldly travels. With Supermoon, Daulne leads her crew on a rambunctious exercise in global rhythmic mash-ups, laying soulful three-part harmonics and wailing, psychedelic keys over firm Afrobeat percussion on album opener "1000 Ways before swinging into the sunshiny reggae vibe of "Hey Brotha. The party later explodes into an all out festival of sporadic whistling, boisterous chants and marking horn blasts, with all sorts of percussive inflections hitting from every angle on "Gati, while tunes like the much more plaintive "Where Are You? add some timely dynamic shifts and provide the space needed for Daulne to inject her many subtle insights. The albums title track, for example, speaks to the idea that we focus too much on superstars when wed do better to look within ourselves, followed by the "Go Boy tale of an immigrant forgetting his homelands richness. With jump-up calypso jams and clever hip-hop references filling out the set, Zap Mamas exploratory interest offers something new with every track.
While its easy to see the unifying elements between each song on the record, how are you and the band so inspired to cover such a broad stylistic spectrum in the span of one disc?
My name is "Zap and theres meaning behind that. Mama zaps inspiration, music, style, etc. I never felt part of one genre or kind of music. Have you? Especially when you are born in a multicultural world. Ive never been an African or a Belgian. Art brings you beyond the borders. Its what I do in music: art.
With "Toma Taboo, youve mentioned the fact that we in the West dont have many solid rituals for passing from one stage of life to another. What type of rituals do you believe ancestors had that made them different?
Dont you think so many people are lost? Some [teenagers] dont know how to deal with all of the difficulties of being an adult, as humans, not businessmen. You can earn millions of dollars and not know how to love or receive love or accept becoming older or how to face death. Society tries to sell them products instead of really helping them. Some create their own rituals. For example, they need to go into a trance to find this other world, to connect with the past and the future of their own life. The lost ones, or ignorant people, will use drugs to make them unable to think or feel properly so that they can forget about all these existential questions. So many steps in our life need to be considered in order to keep ones dignity, to be proud of starting and ending the cycle of life. (Heads Up)