Papagroove offers a rousing and robust Afro-funk fusion rooted in the politicized Afrobeat of Fela Kuti, the groove conscience of Parliament’s funk, the passionate soul of James Brown, the vitamin-boosted pop of Bruno Mars and the rock intensity of Jimi Hendrix. Recognizable on stage for its fervour, its mastery of improvisation and its explosive presence, the group has set foot on the stages of Canada’s top festivals since its earliest days in 2006. With The Hunt, its third album, the indomitable beast embraces the impulse of the hunter.
“Work, competition, lust, religion, love and blind submission to power may lead to excesses and to the destruction of our social, environmental and relational fabric,” says Sébastien Francisque, the group’s main lyricist. “The album seeks to highlight the fact that our modern activities are merely an adaptation of this instinct in a contemporary setting and that our greed stems from this hunter-gatherer heritage. This instinct remains firmly anchored in us.”
Marking the start of a new era for this imposing Montréal group, The Hunt undeniably maintains this social dimension, ubiquitous and inseparable from their previous efforts. (We’re Not Blind and Civilized Ghetto appeared in 2008 and 2012 respectively.) Produced by Guy Kaye (Juno award winner for best world music album in 2011 for Axil by Élage Diouf), the album bears the signature – brass, lyrics, vocals – of artists including Kim Richardson, Ilam, Marie-Christine Depestre, Carine Agboton, Laetitia Zonzambé, Anastasia Friedman, Philippe Dalpé, David Robitaille and Ariel Harrod (Cheshire Carr).
With Sylvain Plante on drums, Gabriel Lajoie on bass, Guy Kaye on guitar, Jacques Kuba Séguin on trumpet, Matthieu Van-Vliet on trombone, Mario Allard on alto saxophone, Jean-François Ouellet on baritone saxophone, Sébastien Francisque on vocals, Mélissa Lavergne on percussions and François Therrien and Martin Lizotte on keyboards, Papagroove brandishes music as a weapon. A secret weapon, at times, but above all a frontal weapon of choice.