|Essay Quatre and Band are a traveling group of itinerant musicians living in a cluster of over 20 islands known as the Seychelles. Located in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles are one of the few remaining pristine tropical settings boasting a lively popular music culture. Individually and together, Essay Quatre and Band have been performing music on the white, sandy beaches since they were young children; "busking for the European elite tourist trade, these natives gained notoriety for their infectious blend of French patois, English ballads and indigenous rhythms known as Sega (or "folk) performed on instruments including steel string acoustic guitar, accordion, trombone and found instruments such as garbage can lids, steel spoons and rattles made from turtle shells.
This is the first professionally produced, audiophile-mastered recording of music from the Seychelles; the sound of these songs has been likened to Jamaican Reggae, African dub and Cajun zydeco. However, it really is a unique amalgam of Western and tribal cultural music which has been solely played live until now. Because Essay Quatre and Band are like gypsies, moving between the islands with the windthere is no factual biographical information available on the group members themselves; however, there is much material on the Seychelles culture available through travel brochures or public libraries.
Because of their lifestyle, this recording came about completely spontaneously as a result of the efforts of Andreas Mock, internationally renowned for his trance dance group, The Power of Movement, as well as his work with Merlins Magic. Andreas and some of his friends, including saxophonist Lee (son of famed bluesman, John) Mayall, were vacationing on one of the islands when they met the group singing for tourists; so impressed was Mock that he ordered his recording equipment to be shipped from Munich all the way to the Seychelles, a trip of many thousands of miles, in order to preserve this music forever. Welcome to Paradise stands as not only a historical audio document unique within the realms of world music, but also as irresistible entertainment for all ages.