Petite Noir - 'La Vie Est Belle/Life Is Beautiful'

9/10

For the last few years, South Africa's Petite Noir aka Yannick Ilunga has been a huge success on the underground scene. His combination of African musical influence and a Western approach to production has made him one of the most intriguing and unique musicians on the world stage today. And after numerous EPs and smaller releases, Ilunga has finally released his long-awaited debut album 'La Vie Est Belle/Life Is Beautiful'.

The trouble with describing the sound of such a unique artist is the lack of contemporaries to compare them to. And while that is most definitely the case for Petite Noir, once you switch on to this new release, you find it so easy to get into. While it clearly has an unconventional pretence when placed up against other modern releases in the UK, it is those differences that make it such a pleasure to listen to as it cuts its own path into the current scene.

The uncompromising nature to be tied down is such a welcome relief on this record. Rather than finding itself in a stale state by the end, it seems to constantly reinvent itself after every track and deliver non-stop surprises. Definitely one of the most eye-opening albums we have heard this year.

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