ZISKAKAN
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ZISKAKAN

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Discography

Ziskakan (1980)
Péi bato fou (1983)
Moringer (1987)
Dizan (1989)
Kaskasnikola (Sankara/Polygram 1996)
Soley glasé (Sankara/Polygram 1996)
20 tan (1998)
4 ti mo (1999)
Rimayer (2001)
Live au Casino de Paris (2002)
DVD Live théâtre de St Gilles (2004)
Banjara (2006)

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Bio

End of the Seventies, in Réunion island, poets and musicians rallied in favour of the Creole language, and of the Réunion island’s culture. Ziskakan association was born in this context, in 1979, at a group of friends' instigation, carried away by Gilbert Pounia. It is in the "Kabars" (Malagasy word "Kabary" meaning assembly) where the maloya is listened, felt and played with instruments of predilection: the "rouleur" (a horse-drum that one overlaps), the "bobre" (a musical arc), the "kayamb" (a box made with stems of flowers of sugar cane and containing seeds, that one shakes flat: this movement gives birth to the 6-8, the rhythmic signature of the maloya). The latter, between a stolen humanity and a possible happiness, is used as an identity.
From this blues, Gilbert Pounia will establish his creation, imaging in the course of the stages and recordings, a contemporary maloya fed with the virtues of the insular Creole culture: a cocktail of interbreeding of African, European, Indian, Chinese and mixed-race descendants.

In 1992, this musical syncretism reached Philippe Constantin's attentive ears, the late manager of Polygram, then, on the other side of the Atlantic, the ones of Chris Blackwell, owner of the famous label "Island".

The wave of the various kinds of African music having opened a way, a new international audience is allured by the sonorities, the tones and the rhythms of the Indian Ocean, which are hybrid and singular. Henceforth, among the groups of Réunion who practice alchemy by marrying maloya, sega, Indian drums, reggae, jazz and pop, Ziskakan will have a driving force. The work was universally recognised in 1994 (tour in Europe, in Africa, in the USA via "Africa fêtes" in Canada…) and led to various rewards: a rank in the Top Ten California, the best group and the best artist of Eastern Africa for the Kora Awards in South Africa…

In the middle of the Nineties, in Reunion as well as internationally, the musical deal evolved and the exchange between musicians gave birth to a new aesthetic prospect. Consequently, the universality of a kind must be played according to a subtle mix of very specific elements and of external influences: Gilbert Pounia can be proud to have met John McLaughlin, Baba Maal, Angelique Kidjo, Kassav', Brandford Marsalis, Mickaël Brook, Ismaël Lo…
At the end of the Nineties, Ziskakan who relied on imagination and the instruments previously quoted (to which bongos, congas, sitar, tabla, harmonium… are
added) started a return towards acoustics, a step which resulted in revitalising with happiness the insistent and fatalistic side of the Creole lyricism. For proof, the album "4 TI MO", recorded in Saint-Denis in Reunion, under the aegis of the famous director and bass player Mishko M'Ba (participation in Johnny Halliday's last album, the bass player of Zazie…) has just been sold in 12,000 copies on the island (for a population of 600,000 inhabitants!).

Since 2000, some new promising events have followed on: a beneficial appearance in Strictly Mundial of Saragosse (in Spain), signature with the label Creon Music distributed by Virgin for the release of 4 TI MO in France on 29 May 2001, signature with the Spanish label Ventura/Seyba, signature with the French organiser of tours Groove Productions. 4TI MO is a kind of birthday cake since Ziskakan celebrated its 20 years old that year