MP3 Mako - Scuba Diving
A voyage thru dub, pop, drum''n''bass, trip hop and breakbeats, with a subtle touch of Polynesian sounds (ukuleles and steel guitars). Including ''Mr Master'' and ''I.M.F''
Digipack album with poster.
13 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Trip Hop, ELECTRONIC: Drum ''n Bass/Jungle
MAKO, officially Bertrand Blais, lived in Tahiti until the age of 13. He still has family there and is strongly attached to the island. "When I had to choose a stage name for my first concert in ''95, I said Mako right away;" this Tahitian name means "shark", a symbol of wisdom.
From those far off places, Mako has kept the memory of an omnipresent soundtrack: in the bus, in the stores, on the beach. "At that time, you only heard two things: traditional Tahitian music and Reggae. As a result, those are the two musical styles that marked me the most." So it''s no surprise to find - besides ethnic fabrics and Tikis - ukuleles and Hawaiian steel guitars alongside an impressive "made in Kingston" vinyl collection. Not to mention an arsenal of machines of all electronic composers. "I started by playing guitar when I was a teen and kept up until I was about 25. While I was working a sound-tech job for TV, I later got some experience re-mixing for musician friends who did Jazz-fusion. Naturally I got into computers and into Pro Tools around 1994. Then came Tricky''s first album, Maxinquaye. I said to myself, Ah yeah, you can do that with machines..." (with an alarmed look) And I ran out and bought a sampler! (laughs)"
:: Album Recipe ::
Heavily influenced by the English electro scene at the beginning, Mako turned towards trip-hop, jungle and drum''n''bass, and started re-mixing some big names in France. His experience with Etienne Daho -as programmer while on tour and then as producer of his latest album in 2003 -gave Mako confidence and pushed him to add instruments and vocals to his own compositions. "While on tour, Etienne asked me to play the keyboard and guitar parts, and I quickly got my bearings again. For the vocals, watching him work allowed me to get rid of my complexes as far as that goes and to find what was missing from tracks like ''IMF'' or ''Mister Master.''" Certain tracks have, in fact, been in the works for a long time. "The singing parts were written two years ago. The opening track, ''Scuba Diving'' goes back about eight years, just like ''A better world.'' ''Shark Attack,'' which plays off certain layers from the first one, was wrapped up in a one-day go, six months ago. Same for the hidden track." In addition to exposing the wealth of Mako''s universe, this album is also a theatre of magical encounters. "I called on Dom Farkas (Doctor L, Poésie B) for the vocals. Two bass players as well: Disco (Philippe Katerine, Roudoudou, Rokia Traoré, Kraked, Château Flight) and Kutch. For Tiki Shop and Mama Rahi e, I asked two Tahitian friends to join us on ukulele." You''ll meet up with everyone from this microcosm again on stage...
:: Between Land and Sea. Scuba Diving ::
Deep see diving. Base camp: Tahiti. Let''s do it, dive in. Breakbeats stretching out like a coral reef, infra bass brushing against you like mermaids, aquatic bleeps - like a bunch of exhilarating bubbles - float up to the surface.
With Come back later, you gradually get back to solid ground: velvety bass, shimmering keyboard, spicy mid-tempo, caressing stings like a ray of sunshine... Shake yourself off, a smile on your face; you''re headed for the Tiki Shop. "That''s where I meet up with my Tahitian friends Teina and Tea" Mako confides. Ukuleles, steal guitars, and glockenspiels welcome you. There are laughing Tikis (Polynesian totem statuettes, very popular in 1950s America) everywhere. Continuing on in the same slightly gallant idleness, Mister Master pulls up with a more pop register, soul vocals, vintage keyboards and little musical accidents like Money Mark. You''re not sure if you''ve been beamed to Florida or somewhere else, and you''re also reminded of the Getaway People. However, the solemn message warns the masters-of-the-world-in-training to be on their guard (anyone with a "W." between their first and last names should feel personally concerned).
The frenzied bass of Tell me what you eat (I''ll tell you who you are) sets you on a sunny, seaside road where you get buzzed on speed and sea spray!
Mama Rahi e takes you back to the beach. Time is suspended as the timeless lament lulls you. "The voice belongs to a great ''Ute'' (a kind of rapid blues that is accompanied by two cords on the ukulele) singer from the 60s: ''oh mother, how immense your love is...'' A dedication to all mothers..."
With IMF, there''s more of a reggae beat, an English dub matinee. A father addresses IMF bigwigs: so, tell me then guys, how am I going to feed my kids now? Jamaican vibe and the shadow of Lee Perry debark with All Stars. The table effects mesmerise the listener like good old remixes Scientists style circa 75-80. Roots uses the same riddim and makes the drum''n''bass straight out sway with tablas on back up. Without really changing gears, you quietly float to the first signatures on the Ninja Tunes label. What''s more, when you hit the song Fa''aa (name of Tahiti''s airport), the atmosphere tilts to trip-hop. Getting off the plane, you''re welcomed by the heat and the smell of Tiaras.
Then What''s left for the kids prolongs the exploration of this electronic land. The rhythms crack, the sound textures become more abstract. So when the last human beings leave the planet in 2324, they realise that they left nothing to their children... Better world, the following track, confirms this idea, softly still, with an anonymous voice ("recorded in the airport," Mako specifies) that talks about respect and the future. The album wraps up its mutation with Shark Attack: everything explodes, the rhythmic is more aggressive. That''s it, the confident listener feels the shark''s teeth, completely tantalised. We ask for more. We pack our bags again and set off again ...