Overflowing with energy and creativity, Badjoke is the alliance of three musicians and two singers from Rouen (France). A fusion of reggae, rap, jungle and others musical expressions, their surprising music is yours to discover this week on Springboard.
With twelve years of existence and concerts too numerous to count, Badjoke is not what we would call beginners. Their third album was released over a year and half ago and new tracks lead to their fourth production. The members of Badjoke are not even thirty years old and their history could be summed up as a group of students passionate for music. But they affirm that what sets them apart and keeps them going is perseverance.
Their first album "Hors Beat" (Off Beat), released in 2001, laid the foundations of what Badjoke would become: a burgeoning style of music with hard-hitting energy and humorous subjects. In 2005, the evolution continued with "Alchimie" (Alchemy). The group fine-tuned its recipe and continues to surprise with a more precise, less scattered album. The tones turned to a more electronic spirit which will really define the Badjoke style. Certain songs from the first album were reworked and re-released. As is the case with The egg story, sung in its first version then remodelled into a techno version for the second.
Graphically, the group has also developed. LKSIR, an artist from their region has defined a pure and original visual identity for them. The third album is live and is called simply Badjoke Live and illustrates what they do best: live performance. Their music can boast a completely correct level while nevertheless remaining dance music with total release. On stage everything is orchestrated to create a real frenzy in the crowd. The group alternates moments of tension with moments of expolsive energy.
The crowd is always asking for more and this communication is a desired effect. With their engaged lyrics, the singers Kopsy and Lokass play with the crowd, motivate them to push them to madness. Behind them, the bass player Dub G launches samples while the drummer Lastikor surprises with his half acoustics half electronic sounds and the guitarist Iksel oversees the spectacle of the show while casting a certain note of rock to the set.
Their ability to adapt themselves to the venue in which they play has brought various formations to this same group. In 2002, they appeared as Badjoke Krü, a leaner and more easily adaptable version for smaller spaces bars and clubs. The model: two djs (Law and Yox) accompanied with both singers of Badjoke.
But the form is always evolving, the guitarist Iksel can also be found behind the turntables or the computer, the singers have been known to pass their mics to singers from another group from Rouen called Dark Jedis. Recently, the musicians developed a new combination that was tested in February, 2008 during their tour of Germany and the Czech Republic.
It is a mixture of Iksel on the machines and Lastikor on the drums. Much harder, their music is more break-beats and techno. This formation could soon welcome another drummer. Because Badjoke is in perpetual evolution, openness is their strength. They have worked with, among other bigger groups of electronic music, Interlope or Ez3kiel.
It does not prevent them from refocusing on a more purified style with the advantage of an ever growing fan base. This summer, they will develop their sound even further and maybe even create a fourth album. Several new tracks have already been played in concert that lead one to believe a new horizon will soon be reached. In the meantime, you can see them on stage with dates planned in France and in Europe.