Sam Karpienia
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Sam Karpienia

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"Mondomix march 2009"

For several days a rumour has been going round that one Sam Karpiena is on top form. The former singer of Dupain together with his brother on the mandol Daniel Gaglione has finally found the percussive element missing from his music: drummer Matthieu Goust. The latter accentuates even more the rock aspect of Sam’s Occitane-Franco songs. More relaxed than ever, dazzling with his vocal acrobatics and riff exchanges. This artist, who never fails to surprise and has constantly progressed ever since his renowned debut in the 90s along with Manu Théron in Gacha Empega, profoundly marked the musical history of the South of France. One day his importance will be known far beyond the borders of France.
Benjamin Minimum

The quality of his new repertoire, the power of his arrangements and his vibrant, lightning voice captivates the air. The stage welcomes a hybrid on the crossroads between Velvet Underground and the new Occitan music, carried by a surreally warm chant, in the line of a Camaron de la Isla. The innovative trance and the harmonics electrify the audience.
Benjamin Minimum - Babel Med Music review

"Media Part July 2008"

It was a night of reunion. First between the public of Les Suds and Goran Bregovic, whose first encounter one night in July 1999 in this very same antique theater, boosted the festival’s fame and, in some way, the career of the Serb composer in France. Attempting to recreate the magic of that historic concert, the director Marie-José Justamond left no stone unturned, even inviting again the original first act. As the Marseille band Dupain is not active anymore, it is the new group of its leader Sam Karpienia who opened Thursday evening. Among the vanguard of today’s music from Occitania, and always looking to keep it contemporary, Karpienia (voice, mandol) is joined by his old accomplice Daniel Gaglione (mandol) and the talented Iranian percussionist Bijan Chemirani. If the singer’s voice is as disconcerting as ever, his sound wants to be rougher, leaving behind monotonous rhythms for peaks of rock, yet never denying the Mediterranean heritage. - Les Suds à Arles review

"Libération July 2008"

Les Suds’ accent makes the Bouches-du-Rhône sing.

A raging Sam Karpienia, the classical Goran Bregovic and the very local Lo Cor de la Plana are on the menu of Arles’ Festival.

In the South, and the Bouches-du-Rhône in particular, Sam Karpiénia and his unpolished voice is a symbol of the new Provence and Occitanian traditions. The acoustic music is rock treated. There is rage in Sam’s singing when he talks about the workers from the 19th century or cultures under threat. His palette covers several Mediterranean music types. An alloy that Sam Karpienia forged with Dupain, a vigorous band from Marseille (lying fallow at the moment, leaving its singer performing solo), with blows of wheel fiddle, mandol, tambourine, bass and drums. Formed in 1998, Dupain became a regular at Les Suds in Arles. Although enflamed, Sam Karpienia, who’s passed through other neo-traditional unions of the Midi (Kanjar’oc and Gacha Empega), knows how to maintain a happy balance.

Bouziane Daoudi
- Suds à Arles review


2009 with SAM KARPIENIA trio "Extatic Malanconi" to be released on September 14th (D-Fragment Music - L'Autre distribution)
2005 with DUPAIN "Les Vivants" (label bleu- harmonia mundi)
2002 with DUPAIN "Camina"(virgin france-EMI)
2000 with DUPAIN "L'Usina" (virgin france-EMI)
1998 with GACHA EMPEGA : album "Polyphonies Marseillaises", l'empreinte digital



From Kanjar’oc to Gacha Empega and Dupain, Sam Karpenia has transformed the Marseille music scene, revitalising it with a poetic intensity and offering it a unique voice. His unforgettable sound, a gem polished by the elemental forces that pervade the Mediterranean, reflects the intoxicating exhilaration of the Rebetiko as much as the feverishness of flamenco and, of course, the joyous insolence of the new Provençale music of which he is a mainstay. However, this proclaimed Occitan has not forgotten the West, and the energy of his music approaches that of Rock, but a Rock that has escaped from binary rhythms, in which guitar riffs are replaced by those on the instruments of Algerian Chaabi music.
This surprising springboard of sounds, rhythms and harmonies supports and propels the voice of the singer and helps him break the barrier of modesty that has separated him from his mother tongue. He holds back on the usage of the Occitan language in favour of French, extracting from it clear words, so many symbols which he endows with melodic curves whose raw and unaffected beauty celebrate life through the themes of voyage, the benevolent loved-one, exchanged words or the redeeming sun. Sam Karpienia describes eternal initiatory experiences in which we recognise the magical moments of our own lives.