Laventille Rhythm Section has been pounding out the beat of T&T music and culture for some 23 years. Now they're at the heart of a new musical initiative that's ready to share their sound with the world.
Audiences have been possessed by the band's instruments, from the mighty, booming "djun-djuns" to the tassa, djembe and blistering irons. The group has been a mainstay in all sorts of cultural events, at home and away.
Now, Indigisounds and production team Jus Now have teamed up with the percussion powerhouse to create the Laventille Rhythm Section Sample Library, a digital product that puts the sounds of their instruments at the fingertips of music producers.
At the launch, which took place on March 4, at the Big Black Box on Murray Street in Woodbrook, the project partners told guests all about it.Panman Johann Chuckaree of Indigisounds welcomed guests and expressed pleasure at being part of the groundbreaking initiative. He said the software company was the first to create a digital pan library. The new product is another first.
Indigisounds' creator, engineer David Chow said the project was four years in the making and took many hours of studio work to perfect.Musician and Jus Now producer Keshav Chandradath Singh (aka LAZAbeam) saluted the Laventille Rhythm Section for keeping alive "the drums of our ancestors."
He said he had been "captivated and influenced" by their sound, which he called "the backbone of the rhythm of T&T."He said the Laventille Rhythm Section Sample Library was an investment in T&T's culture, "a feather in our cap; a local product we can be proud of."
The band's leader Trevor McDonald said he was very pleased with the band's involvement in the development of the new digital tool, the fruit of commitment and dedication.
"When you start from humble beginnings, you learn to appreciate big things. When small things grow into big things," he said, "it's that much sweeter!"He said he wished to express "the appreciation we feel as a band for the opportunity to create another stepping stone" for local culture and intellectual property.
He said the achievement was "not just success for the band but the whole Laventille community."
Japanese-born Yoichi Watanabe, assistant professor of music technology at the University of T&T (UTT), was responsible for recording the different instruments and capturing their signature sound.
Producer and engineer Martin "Mice" Raymond, also of UTT, said he had tried the product and recommended it highly: "I encourage every producer in T&T to buy a copy."
The Laventille Rhythm Section Sample Library is available for purchase online on Kontakt for US$99, and is also available for $650 at CET at Maritime Plaza in Barataria.