Soul Sok Sega

08/12/2015Strut Records Readies Funky Compilation Of Mauritian Tunes

London-based 2015 "Label Of The Year" at Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards, Strut Records is considered one of the leading reissue labels with a knack for soul, funk, world sounds, disco, post-punk and industrial music, while also releasing albums by original legends and new world music artists the likes of Mulatu Astatke, Orlando Julius or The Souljazz Orchestra.

Currently they are readying another highly intriguing project on the traditional music of Mauritius, called "séga" aka the 'blues' of the Indian Ocean.

"The music was born during the 17th to 19th centuries by African slaves seeking relief from harsh conditions in sugar cane fields and on colonial land by dancing to improvised music incorporating rhythms from their homelands in West Africa, Mozambique, Zanzibar or Madagascar. From these diverse African influences sprang a new, insular dance and music, the séga."

Initially frowned upon, it wasn't until the mid 1960's that séga music become a symbol of national pride and identity for Mauritius. Resulting from the arrival of electric instruments as well as the increasing presence of Western music and LPs, séga ultimately went commercial:

"Dancefloors started grooving to a more soulful, funky séga beat and séga artists popped up all over the island with a new generation of charismatic singers becoming national stars. Séga, sung in Créole, now united all the communities of the island. Mauritians from the European, African, Indian and Chinese communities, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, all danced and enjoyed séga."

Releasing early 2016 on February 5th, Strut Records' promising "Soul Sok Sega" collection, compiled by DJ duo La Basse Tropicale (alias Natty Hô and Konsöle), explores the Mauritian séga sounds from 1973-1979, including extensive liner notes, interviews, photos and original artwork.

Listen to the preview above and keep an eye on the Strut Records Bandcamp page!

via: Strut Records

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom