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andrewcsmith on 05/10/2010 at 12:00PM

The best dancer raises more dust from the floor

Photo by Lori Baily

The Bristol quartet Zun Zun Egui takes no prisoners; theirs is the music of a post-apocalyptic tropical house party. The songs combine constantly shifting African rhythms with the ecstatic shouts—in Mauritian Creole, French, English, or in no language at all—from Kushal Gaya. Gaya moved to the U.K. from the coast of Madagascar (and the island of Mauritius) and brought with him memories of the Creole dances and rituals that French colonists had earlier attempted to squelch. But far from being a cliché melange of cross-cultural feel good pop tunes with an African veneer, Zun Zun Egui does the opposite; instead of incorporating a djembe into some four-four meters, they use thoroughly modern instruments on top of flowing, rhythmic patterns that seem to go on for miles. Bassist Luke Mosse and drummer Matt Jones are the prime components of this groove, and the reason that these songs can continue for upwards of nine minutes without getting stale.

It would be impossible to discuss this band without bringing up Yoshino Shigihara's visual art, which seems akin to the other-worldly screeches she elicits from her keyboards. The above photo doesn't do the psychedelic visuals justice—an overstimulating counterpart to their spare setup—but the brilliant light and color is as much a part of the environment as the music. Both of the tracks below are from their latest EP, Bal La Poussiere, (loosely translated from the Creole: "the best dancer raises more dust from the floor") released on Blank Tapes.

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