Bursting through the banks of creative expression, Petite Noir’s new release, La Maison Noir, encompasses an energetic flourishing of new sounds and ideas. Lying at the heart of The South African artist’s work is the philosophy of Noirwave, a borderless vision which seeks a new future for contemporary African culture. With this idea of deconstructing boundaries and striving towards free movement, thought and expression, La Maison Noir naturally finds an expansive space between musical genres in which to explore.
The opening track, ‘Blame Fire’, forms layers of synthesiser chords, alongside driving hi-hat and snare grooves. Building and building, the track leads into a highly explosive chorus, with an off-beat vocal line coursing throughout. Equally, ‘F.F.Y.F (POW)’ carries great strength through the sung call and responses which span over the verses, whilst the constant stream of onomatopoeic ‘pows’ beam like lasers throughout the chorus.
The midway point of the EP marks a distinct change in colour. The lofty vocal melody on ‘R E S P E C T’ floats above a sparse texture of reverberant synthesisers and bass kicks, amassing in the broodiest of atmospheres. A seemingly jovial blues riff, however, pulls us into a chorus laden with blunt demands for respect, packed with intense urgency. Likewise, the lyrical content on ‘Blowing Up The Congo’ evokes a menacing and somewhat apocalyptic mood, complemented by brazen vocal lines which cut through gaps of exposed harmony.
La Maison Noir is a work of gradience, transitioning through numerous forms of expression. The breadth of musicality covers all the spaces between richness and sparsity, between stasis and motion.