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Song Of The Month June 2011: “Carnaval De Paris” by Dario G

June 23, 2011

The summer is here well at least in name and what better than another warm sounding song to soundtrack the month than this effort by a dance group from Crewe. “Carnaval De Paris” has been used on countless occasions particularly in a footballing context since its original release back in 1998 which was to coincide with the beginning of the World Cup that year in France, its video involving children painted in the colours of nations that qualified for the World Cup Finals that opened with Brazil v Scotland on 10th June 13 years ago. The track served as an unofficial soundtrack of sorts to the tournament (the “Official Song” was a number by Latin diva Ricky Martin).

As you would expect from a track that derives itself from the meaning of carnival, “Carnaval De Paris” is a cheery celebration of ethnic diversity with its use of stereotypical musical instruments to characterise certain nations: the use of the steel drum (Jamaica) and the bagpipes (Scotland) being two prime examples. It fits in with the typical Dario G sound that permeates if not reeks from the album it is a part of. However, it does have more of an edge than many of the tracks on the album. The album does get a little wishy-washy as it is mellow at all times and promotes a light-headed peace-and-love message without there being much structural definition. In a nutshell, it is an audio blur of smiley faces with a delightful ambient nature. Not the smiley faces with effort or meaning, rather the smiley faces of those who have not a care in the world and are incapable of feeling any deep emotion other than calm.

The distinct video embraces stereotypical iconography to represent each nation in a manner that borders on surrealism i.e. two kids painted in the Dutch national flag go to head a ball together with a large windmill in the backdrop. Following a couple of shots of differing nations and kids clad in the Brazil flag chasing a bus of some sorts, we have football match action to watch as kids clad in the colours of Brazil and Spain compete on sand (the video shows each team scoring so as not to favour one nation over another). The video continues along its merry way displaying other kids painted in various national flags before the songs centrepiece: a bagpipe solo. Cue the image three lads painted in the colours of the Scottish national flag walking atop of a hill. Anyway, that’s more than enough video commentary; it’s more than likely to be on some site or other for your viewing pleasure.

The group, Dario G, are named so as a tribute to Crewe Alexandra legend Dario Gradi and enjoyed most of their success in the year of 1998, culminating in two UK Chart top 5 tracks in the form of the aforementioned “Carnaval De Paris” and their breakthrough hit, “Sunchyme”. Both tracks featured on the album “Sunmachine”, an apt name for the sound Dario G were creating (it beats the original title for the album “Superdarioland”). Using a liberal amount of samples, the album was a success but unfortunately for the Cheshire trio, it was short-lived. Following some remix efforts and a few random singles, they made one more track entitled “Dream To Me” that broke through into the UK Chart top 10.They did go on to produce a second album in 2001 titled “In Full Colour” but since then the colour provided by the harmonious dance group has drained away from the face of the Earth. They did release a different version of “Carnaval De Paris” in 2002 to capitalise on the World Cup in South Korea and Japan. It proved unsuccessful on its own, never mind in comparison to the earlier release. The golden moment had obviously been and gone but there will always be the memories: Davor Suker’s personal relationship with the Adidas Tricolore, Spain failing to get out of the group phase and France’s eventual glory…all soundtracked in the minds of many by a group from Crewe. It’s not a bad way to be remembered.

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