Words by Erin MacLeod, as determined by Ghislain Poirier and Erin MacLeod—
Thinking back over big, tropical tunes from the Francophone side of things requires a pretty wide scope. Parties in Guadeloupe or Haiti are just as likely to play music from French West Africa or France as they are from their own backyards. There’s much more of a musical connection throughout the Francophonie than there is in the English-speaking world and, notably, in the English-speaking Caribbean.
This, however, means that there’s a whole pile of great stuff to choose from. And who better to consult on this than Montreal-based DJ/producer Poirier. Known for linking disparate genres from soca to hip-hop, Poirier has always kept a close ear to the sounds of the French-speaking Caribbean. Running through the range of riddims led us through tunes that should get play in the dance regardless of lingua franca. So, for 2012, in no particular order, here’s a list of 10 (plus 1) tracks that you would have heard if you were in the French West Indies, but if not, you should hear now.