Search

Album review: Fantastic Negrito – The Last Days Of Oakland

PUBLISHED: 10:11 18 July 2017

Fantastic Negrito

Fantastic Negrito

Archant

A buzzing, broad and exciting ‘debut’ from a multi-talented, blues-inspired musician for our times

Describing his sound as “black roots music for everyone”, Xavier Dphrepaulezz’s debut record as Fantastic Negrito had an inspiring genesis after an incredible life of ups and downs that all feed into its sound.

The rough’n’ready blues of Leadbelly and Skip Woods was his springboard, but the sounds of …Oakland take in R&B, ‘80s funk, gospel, jazz, roots and rock, mixed with the experiences of a young life making money from drugs and hustle on the streets, the promise of international success and a near-fatal car crash.

It won him a Grammy award earlier this year for Best Contemporary Blues Album and now it’s rereleased with two new tracks, just in time for his London gig next week.

For anyone yet to come across his record, it’s got a rare breadth, vitality and originality, shot through with an earthy, compelling energy.

His version of blues classic In The Pines is stripped down and low-key, performed with a hushed restraint that serves only to amplify the pent-up contributions of gospel backing singers, Hammond organ and expressive electric guitar.

Push Back, one of the new tracks, has a brittle ‘80s feel to it, a pumping bassline and insistent piano raising his heart rate before he cracks with “stress… anxietyyyy”, but the heart of the record lies in the theatrically charged bluesy duet About A Bird and Scary Woman’s honky-tonk vibes.

Rating: 4/5

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 18:58

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has called for the dismissal of Inner North London’s senior coroner Mary Hassell after a “deeply disappointing” meeting with community leaders to discuss her refusal to respect Jewish burial requirements.

Yesterday, 15:27

Belgium international has been out since November with a hamstring injury

Yesterday, 18:42

Hackney Council is inviting comments on its “progressive” vision for a greener, safer, less polluted and more affordable Shoreditch in 15 years’ time.

Yesterday, 13:45

Since the play’s first outing, representations of the East End have become two-a-penny in mainstream popular culture but director Jessica Lazar doesn’t shy away from tropes that play up caricature and nostalgia

Yesterday, 13:30

‘Waking’ centres around a single moment: a faint sense of recognition between a man and a woman

Yesterday, 13:00

West Ham United entertain Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, looking for a third straight win in all competitions.

Yesterday, 13:00

On February 2-3 . the annual festival returns, showcasing the best in dance this year

Yesterday, 12:30

From February 1 to 11, the exhibition will showcase some of the world’s most interesting and revolutionary contemporary collagists, looking at redefining how the art form is expressed



Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists