Saturday, 1 March 2014

Review: Fauve: Vieux frères - Partie 1

There's a feeling that Fauve are one of the most hyped acts at the moment, with expectations high about their
debut collection  Vieux frères - Partie 1.

And it is an impressive and confident work. The words urgent and passionate, the music clever and the production spot on.

And this collection continues their previous work, the barrage of lyrics of Voyous sets their agenda, with the feeling they have much to say and little time to say it in.  Requin-Tigres is a more expansive work,  a brief respite before Jeunesse Talking Blues brings back the anger and frustration while Rag #3 is more reflective. Infirmiere more song-based and not a million miles from Stromae.

De Ceux is another densely-worded work, Rag #4 a pause before we enter Tunnel,  guitar weaving around beats and female vocals.  Lettre a Zoe and Loterie are probably the works that will be returned to repeatedly.

It's very much a hip hop album, but with most of the genre signifiers removed.

So Fauve are a collective, rather than a crew or a posse. Their work is spoken word rather than rap, with guitars rather than turntables.

While no doubt breaking down genre conventions in its way, maybe this irritates me slightly. It could be seen as whitewashed hip hop for an audience uncomfortable around black culture.

But Fauve do win you over. It's not as important as it perhaps thinks it is, the lyrics are not always as poetic they probably should be, but there's enough going on to maintain interest, a momentum that persuades you to overlook and forgive any issues you might have. This is a journey that you want to continue.

It's a success despite some reservations. We'll see if  Vieux frères part two secures their position.

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