Saturday, February 11, 2023

Fantastic Negrito @ Café de la Danse, Paris - February 11th, 2023

Fantastic Negrito's latest record White Jesus Black Problems is a concept album about his slave ancestors, and the lyrics and interludes tell a story so vivid and so immediate that it almost feels like a movie for the ears. But Fantastic Negrito also produced a 45-minute film about that same story, and the evening started with a screening of that film.

We first (and last) saw Fantastic Negrito at the New Morning about three years ago and he was playing with a full band. This was a more intimate affair: after the movie, Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz (the man behind the Fantastic Negrito person) came out to answer a few questions, before launching into an  acoustic performance, backed only by his keyboard player Bryan Simmons.

The movie is actually more like a long-form music video and is a provocative piece which draws a parallel between the days of slavery and modern America. The Q&A was both funny and informative but the real reason people attended was the performance, which was brilliant. On record, the songs are very layered and reminiscent of Prince or Funkadelic. Here, they are stripped of their freaked-out production and presented in a more essential format, closer to the traditional Blues idiom, and which puts the message front and center.

It's not a comfortable subject. In fact, it's all rather heavy: slavery, race, guns, family, death... But this is what all great art does: it takes that bullshit and turns it into good shit.

Try Apple Music
Click on the banner above to listen to sign up for Apple Music and get one month of streaming for free

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment on this post: