K-Mistry enters Boston into Konpa sweepstakes
By Steve Desrosiers, Contributing Editor
May. 11, 2012
“It’s My Life”
Boston’s music fans have been hoping for local talent to impact the mainstream Konpa scene and it seems their prayers might be answered with our latest local sensation - the band – K-Mistry!. The group’s first album “It’s My Life” is currently available in a store near you and this independent release boasts a generous 14 original compositions.
K-Mistry has been making moves locally all winter throughout greater Boston. They’ve paired up with Djakout Mizik, T-Micky and Kreyol-La to give fans a taste of their talent and it seems they’ve garnered quite a local following so far. The formation was born in 2009 when young musicians - Riccardi Rene (Keys), Alex Mathieu (Band leader/Bassist), Clarence Rene (Lead vocals), Willenz Altenor (Lead vocals), Yves Eliscar (guitar), Stanley Jeudi (Keys), Abdias Derisme (Percussion), Kevin Merisier (Drums) and Wilgens Joseph (Congas) – combined their talents to pursue their musical ambitions.
“It’s My Life” is inspired in part by the Miami Konpa sound that is a current favorite among dedicated concert goers. The key tunes on this release include groove heavy pieces like, “Let me know” which has a definite Zenglen-styled swagger, boasts fine drum, guitar and synth performances and solid work from the band’s vocalists.
The Zoukish “Lanmou” brushes the soul softly its sensuous lead melodies, its catchy hook, its fine polyrhythmic percussive feel and let’s not forget the fine guitar groove at the center of this piece. The captivating, “Pou La vi” airs that these musicians are as steeped and capable in the ever evolving Zouk-Konpa tradition as they are in modern Konpa trends. Other notable pieces on this release include numbers like, the very Konpa-Direk “Ti tap la,” the Twoubadou “Vini Cheri” and let’s not forget the lush and hot “Decide.”
K-Mistry is off to a reputable start with “It’s My Life” and it may well be that Boston will soon be able to put one on the industry’s map. The album has a sweet mix, enough strong songs and most important enough talented musicians to earn a starting spot among current contenders. The strengths of the band are definitely in the fine qualities of its rhythm section especially where the interplay between drums, synths and guitars are concerned.
The band’s vocalists perform admirably in the album’s stronger numbers and show their weaknesses in the weaker compositions. One way to have avoided this would have been to release an album that only showcased the most compelling numbers, leaving the weaker ones in draft mode but as it is, fans may have to suffer the experience skipping a bit to find many fine moments on this release – a risky approach in these “attention-deficit” times!
Boston’s latest sensation – K-Mistry has put out a strong effort, well worth your time, attention and eventual patronage! Look out for their live shows.
Gracia Delva returns to the scene with his band’s latest effort, “Jije’m.” The album features 10 original numbers and seems to have the backing of some pretty green hands, including that of Nu-Look’s Arly L’Arriviere.
Senator Gracia is making his presence felt in true Caribbean fashion. We believe a man should have many jobs and American senators could learn a thing or two about being well rounded and keeping up with trends with one’s constituency by releasing an occasional commercial album for popular consumption. Haitians love music, so our musicians give us fine works, we are concerned for the future of the country and – well, our musicians hold public office as well.
Ok, I’m having a bit too much fun with Zenglen’s talented former frontman. When political duty calls, he features his sidekick, co-lead vocalist “Frero” (another former Zenglen front-man) to satiate the needs of the masses Gracia, the politician musician has been doing his thing with Mass Konpa for several years now and awaits a break out release that will earn his band a spot in the US concert-circuit.
Is “Jije’m” that release? Short answer: “Maybe!”
There are so many fine musical moments on this release it’s hard to pass up the charms any song featuring Gracia’s vocals. The numbers that stick to the gut include, “Jije’m” which wastes no time gracing the listener with heavy guitar laced grooves as soon as the crooner has delivered his mellifluous sermon. The graceful and evangelical “Nada” is bathed in sweet hooks, melodies, guitars, synth-play and even features some mind flipping rhythmic magic before it releases us back to earth. The jumpy “Si’m te Milyone” runs simultaneously smooth and hottt, like melted butter and this especially where the synth and guitar features are concerned as they drip the kind of greasy charm that keeps dance floors scarred for life.
Jije’m” is another strong release from Gracia and company. The great thing about this particular artist his is absolute link to the pulse of his countrymen. He is a master of catchy slogans, key word phrases, has a fine proverbial approach in songwriting and has chosen the right musicians for this album.
The overall mix of the work is excellent and the instrumental performances are strong, solid and inspired – especially where horns are concerned. I can’t hold back, the synth work on this release (Nickenson Prud’homme through and through) is so good that Japanese manufacturers are going to need to seek out our best players for signature models, this work is simply some of the most original playing being done in music today!
“Jije’m” is a really good album that will probably not get the airplay and exposure it deserves but it holds its own and is definitely worth its weight in Green. Invest!
The Reporter thanks: Patrick St. Germain. Visit Parfumery International located at 860 Morton Street, Dorchester, 617-825-6151.