Genre of the Week: Logobi

Wow. Something is really brewing, again, on the streets of Paris.

Sometimes you find about new music from strange sources. The video above was posted today, not by one of my usual sources, but by Momus. Consequently I know nothing more about the genre than I can find by googling, which isn't much.

The dance above is called logobi or logobie or logoobie, and it's pretty much entirely new, with no references existing prior to 2007 and exploding in content and popularity this year. It seems to have derived to a certain extent from coupé-decalé, though it's considerably stiffer, jumpier and has almost tektonik-style arm movements. The practitioners seem fairly uniformly to be very young, black french kids, though rarely as young as this:

Socially, these kids all seem to have god-awful, mid-nineties-looking blogs on social networking site skyrock. It's a good place to search for tracks of the associated music, which annoyingly often is anonymous and untitled, appearing under the heading "logobi instru", just "instru" or sometimes "coupé decalé instru". The latter ought to give some indication into the origin of the genre, as homegrown instrumental versions of coupé decalé, and indeed the very earliest material seems to be just that. Dancers then chant stuff over them.

However, more recent instru has evolved in a completely different direction - it's been totally infused by european dance music, and to a certain extent kuduro and hip-hop, while retaining a basic coupé decalé beat. The influence is not, as expected these days, primarily from commercial trance and electro house; instead the genre contains copious amounts of dubstep (like here) and hard trancey techno, like jumpstyle (e.g. here). Some of the best material fucks around with the beat as well, like this track.

It's fairly exciting music all round - there's a huge variety of percussive sounds (including timpani, orchestral hits, cymbals and snaps), it's varied, rich and polyrhythmic in interesting ways. None of it has settled to form yet, and all the artists creating seem to be around 14, which is definitely a plus.

Now please, all those of you with a finger in the francophone-African air, can you compliment this picture with some history and connections?


Boima said...

I think your godfathers of this stuff are DJ Nono, Kaysha, Bab Lee, DJ Click who were all chopping and stabbing and genre mixing. Even Jessy Matador and DJ Vielo. Now of course a new generation is getting their hands on the equipment. Kind of like what's going on in California right now. Nevertheless it's very exciting to see and, I'm glad Coupe Decale no go die.

Guillaume / Valeo said...

Actually, in 2006, there was a cd sold in France with Logobi in the title alongside Mapouka and Zouglou:


Boima said...

Ha! I just noticed that myself! I wonder if it's an Ivorian style like Mapouka or Zouglou or Zoblazo.

Birdseed said...

Cool! I kept moving the date back as I found new references myself. :)

The etymology would be fun to hear more about, but in any case I think we can agree it's really taken off in the past year or so, at least based on the skyrock and youtube presence.