Polyrhythmic Synth Jam With KREOL 808

Sunday Synth Jam: KREOL 808 – an electronic project created by Ocean Indian musicians – shared this propulsive polyrhythmic jam, Zok. 

Here’s what they have to say about KREOL 808:

The meeting of creole electronic musicians & producers in order to create a Métis music, a mix between machines and roots, tropical groove and southern synthesizers. We’re proposing an electronic journey in the Indian Ocean, a crossing from the coast of Malabars to Mozambique, for a modern transposition of our traditional rhythms, like the tsapiky of Madagascar or the Sega of Mauritius Island.

We’re trying to create an imaginary music continent, with samples coming from the Muslim chants of the archipelago of the Comoros or the Tamil ceremonies of Reunion Island. An ode to the nature of our islands, a trek through are beautiful landscapes from the black sand beaches to the steep mountain tops, sweating inside the lush forests or drying in the desert of the svolcanic plateaus, our creations are inspired by the endemic fauna and flora as well as the urban contrast between creole hut and the modern buildings of our cities.

KREOL 808 is working on releasing their first EP in late 2017. You can follow their work via their Facebook page.

10 thoughts on “Polyrhythmic Synth Jam With KREOL 808

  1. This is not polyrythm. It’s a 6/8 at every bar of the whole piece. And this makes it interesting because most other electonic stuff is always 4/4.

    1. People will debate this till the cows come home – but rhythmic cycles that combine 2 against 3 are the most common polyrhythms in many forms of music.

      The rhythms of this track are distinguished from 6/8 by the fact that they are based on a 12-beat rhythmic cycle that includes patterns that have a 12/8 feel (1 triplet 2 triplet 3 triplet 4 triplet) and other patterns that have a 3/4 feel (1 and 2 and 3 and).

      As a result, there are likely some readers that won’t hear the 6/8 or 12/8 side at all and will insist that it’s in waltz time.

      1. With polyrhythmic music, there can be different listening experiences based on the ambiguity which pulse is the “primary” value. And, sometimes, there’s even some ambiguity about where the “top” of the cycle is (i.e., beat one). You can have several entirely different listening experiences by shifting where you perceive “ONE” or which pulse rate you go with.

        With the above example it is not especially obvious. We can look for clues with how the producers are bobbing their heads– but ultimately, it doesn’t matter what they are feeling if we don’t HEAR what they are intending. If they wanted it to be “more clear” they could added more elements to nail it down. But that’s not always necessary, especially if either groove sounds good. Sometimes hearing the “wrong” way is very simple pattern, and hearing it the “right” way makes it a trickier/funkier groove. Then it is on the producer to decide how to shift the balance.

        I’ve played Zimbabwean music for years. In their Afro-pop style, a 12/8 groove often has 4 on the floor of dotted quarters (i.e. the beats), and all the polyrhythm branches off of that.

        Take your best guess where the beat is, in the intro, then wait for the groove to kick in at about 0:30.


        1. Nice share – that brings back memories of a 70’s world music cover of Nhemamusasa by Paul Winter. He called his version ‘Ancient Voices’, and added English lyrics and rock drums!

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