Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Zazou Bikaye - Guilty! [1989] @256 (Excellent excursion into the afroelectroacid realm)

Well… I refuse to post only prog so… here I go with this one.

Hector Zazou was born in Algeria, land of Rai and crossroads of Europe and Islam. At this point we must make very clear that his musical influences are vast and incredibly diverse. Opera, Techno pop, dark wave, Chamber Rock, Robert Wyatt, pop... He even had had a brief Rock In Opposition link. His first duo, ZNR, has two albums of Satie-esque moog/rhodes/drum machine pop

Later he worked with la crème of his generation: Dead Can Dance, Jon Hassell, David Sylvian, John Cale, Anneli Drecker, Bjork and many others. Zazou is well known for his ambitious projects. His album Songs from the Cold Seas is an essential masterpiece, an album not to be missed by anyone who might think himself as a modern music connoisseur and collector.

Other important experiments done by Mr Zazou are Geologies and Geographies, or Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses, three quasi academic works that helped to consolidate him as one of the kings of that nebulous limbo between the classical and the popular, the modern and the very antique, the brain and the heart

For some Hector Zazou is what Eno would have been if Eno have had had a formal musical learning. This conclusion doesn’t try to say anything bad about Eno. It just states that Zazou is obviously influencde by the former, plus year academic learning.

As a matter of fact, the influence of Eno is easily noted in Guilty! The album he released with the Zairian singer Bony Bikaye. An album that draws many similarities to My Life in the Bush of Ghosts the seminal work that Eno and Byrne published in 1980.
Guilty! can also be framed in the World Music picture, only that this time the electronic arrangements make things rather unclear. They did not pretend to recreate or twist african or middle eastern music, they just played it as they felt it. Bikaye sang with his heart, not trying to fool us with fake African chanting or pseudo ritual outbursts. Zazou put here great music, Bikaye gave us a ton of honesty. And they were not afraid to the fact that people could actually dance to the music they did.

The result however, danceable or not is eerie and somewhat alien. It is true that songs like Kinshasa translates Africa to the West, but it is also true that their version of It’s a man’s man’s man’s world (original by James Brown a soul classic and surely one of the best songs ever) brings american soul back to a future Africa.

They surely knew how to give a surprisingly turn of the screw.
Do not expect guitar riffs or solos here.
Mellotron? What is that?

Keep Listening!!!



Zeus said...

Can you re-upload this album? Rapidshare.de has been shut down for ages.

isabelbc said...

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=ZWH0XCFF from http://rho-xs.blogspot.com/2006/12/stage-05-france.html

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