“They are as their name suggests, an act who strike unexpectedly. And they are sensational…an enervating wall of noise given a focus by the incredible presence of singer, the Burkina Faso griot, Kaito Winse. The best kind of buzz.” — Louder Than War
A Burkinabe urban griot (vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kaito Winse) meets a Brussels noise punk duo. A new alloy that deconstructs both traditional and futurist knowledge.
This thrilling ensemble is releasing their self-titled debut album hot on the heels of their acclaimed 4-song EP Dabalomuni (January 2022), that The Wire called “freaked, juddering electronic punk.”
A mysterious matrix that echoes disparate (but strangely compatible) sonic strands: deep griot traditions, Fugazi, Can, 70s era Zappa, Black Midi, the full throttle rush of Nyege Nyege Tapes.
Emerging from an original dimension in sound, the polygenesis Avalanche Kaito redefine what it is to talk with the ancients whilst leaping forth into a futuristic chaos of noise on their debut album journey. A palpable experience with each sonic blast, each layer a revelation, this simultaneously taut but expansive universe, in which the oral traditions of the West African griot converge with Belgium post-punk, exists in its own space.
Urban griot and multi-instrumentalist Kaito Winse ((vocals, tama, peul flutes, mouth bow) fortuitously collided with Brussels noise punk musicians Benjamin Chaval (drums, electronics) and Arnaud Paquotte (bass) from the group Le Jour du Seigneur, after a friend of theirs in Burkina Faso played Kaito some of the duo’s pummeling music. Through a twisting sequence of events, the trio eventually met and began developing the soundworld of ancestral proverbs and dataist inspired technology that defines the album.
Although the album is being released six months after the debut Dabalomuni EP showcase, the guitarist from that extraordinary otherworldly session, Nico Gitto is now part of the transformed setup; not so much replacing Paquotte as expanding the sound into another direction.
The Dabalomuni EP was just a small window into a greater universe of animalistic symbolism and allegorical stories, wildly vociferated and loquaciously delivered under a rich exotic canopy or, echoed out into the ether. With the help of the visual language program PureData (an open-source apparatus for creating interactive computer music and multimedia works) and his pummeling, rattled drumming, Benjamin and his sinewy bassist foil Arnaud create an effective torque and tumult for Kaito’s commune with his roots and life in a very different bush of ghosts. Within that space, you’ll not only hear super charged traces of post-punk but the tribal, free jazz, prog, and industrial-electronica as well.
In a recent interview for the Trial & Error Collective site, Kaito expanded upon his role, his voice and unique lyrical proverb themes: ‘All these proverbs already exist. They are tools for teaching. They are intended to make people think without hitting them head on. In Burkina Faso we use proverbs. In my village the griots use proverbs. We prefer that people think for themselves rather than doing it for them. They go and discuss with the help of proverbs around a coffee or at the water’s edge. They use their own brain. If the proverb is nice to listen to, they will remember it. We don’t like it when people talk a lot. Tradition has used this so that people retain the proverbs and when a situation arises they will understand and use them. The proverb also makes the link between nature and humans.’
Kaito’s griot ancestry and the band’s motivation is a spontaneous escape from the addiction of the online world, a reconnection with the ritual of a live performance. You could call it an interaction between flesh and blood people.
Although created in a studio setting that live in the moment feeling and dynamism is authentically recreated on this album. In that same interview Benjamin outlines the group’s process, noting that in addition to the meticulously arranged song structures: ‘There was an improvised stage in the studio with Kaito and me, and then this material was worked on, it went into the digital mixer, to be enriched with computational sourdough.’
In practice that blows up and out into the inter-dimensional slackened bass stalk of ‘Sunguru’, and the wilder hysterics and danger of the progressive deconstruction ‘Douaga’. In that post-punk mode, a Jah Wobble-like throbbed esoteric bass converges with more celestial manifestations on ‘Goomde’, whilst ‘Eya’ features a certain Scott Walker atmospheric gloom and earthy soul tumbling drums. At any one-time this trio are snarling yet hypnotic, willowy but thickened with a brooding menace.
All of this comes alive to create a mysterious matrix that echoes disparate (but strangely compatible) strands: deep griot traditions, Fugazi, Can, 70s era Zappa, Black Midi, the full throttle rush of Nyege Nyege Tapes.
Magnetic in straddling multiple worlds Avalanche Kaito are metal and flesh, blood and biometrics, tradition and transition, all wrapped up on a chaotic road trip. The open road, pathway from Kaito’s village home of Lankoé in landlocked Burkina Faso to Brussels proves infinitely more important, radical and creative than the destination.
8. Le Grand-Père