Noir et Blanc

Noir et Blanc

by Cy 1Cy 1

CD(Jewel Case)

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Noir et Blanc is a supremely enjoyable collaboration between Algerian-born (France-residing) composer Hector Zazou and Zairean singer Bony Bikaye, an early and inspired marriage between Central African music and post-punk funk. Zazou, who would go on to flirt with fame at the fringes of rock (working with singers like Björk and Susanne Vega), here assembled a tight little band that included Fred Frith and Marc Hollander, all swarmed over by his own electronics manipulation and, presumably, a good bit of post-production. The band lays a creamy and seductive ground for Bikaye, a singer possessed of a marvelously rich and deep voice with a tinge of sardonic humor. The music is convoluted and irresistibly funky, avoiding the clichés befalling many somewhat similar ventures from around this period (1983); even the drum machine usage works well. Hollander's clarinet and bass clarinet work adds a lush element not normally associated with this genre, giving an oddly European exoticism to what is essentially African music. Each song has its attractions, from the relentless drive of the opening "M'Pasi Ya M'Pamba" to the heartfelt longing of "Munipe Wa Kati" to the fractured mechanics of "Keba." Some of Zazou's later work would get excessively new age-y; here it's dirty grooves all the way. Any fan of Afro-funk should want this fine exemplar of the field.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/05/2007
Label: Crammed Disc Us
UPC: 0876623002727
catalogNumber: 105
Rank: 123250

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