One of Guadeloupe’s greatest musical exports is Erick Cosaque—an artist without a label who seizes rebellion and joy in equal measure. Gwo Ka, meaning ‘big drum’, was the broad movement to which he belonged: it brought a family of drums together and allowed each component to flourish atop or below the next. The percussive strength on ‘Cosaque 1978’ is magnificent. Cosaque’s vocals have an intelligent depth that offers up both wisdom and a sense of carefree natural buoyancy. The melodies, while darting and complex, angle the record towards the hips, where dancing becomes inevitable. It finishes, sensationally vibrant but anchored to its history.
A favourite: ‘Guadeloupe, île de mes amours’