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Music is in a constant state of evolution

Music, like language – and any other creative human endeavour – is in a constant state of evolution. We need new words to describe new situations and encounters, just as we need new sounds to give them flight; old phrases lose their potency and ability to express what needs to be said. Think of the term “world music”. It might once have denoted rhythms and rhymes belonging to impossibly far-flung locales, but in an age where every musican begs, borrows and steals samples from wherever and whomever he fancies, it’s fast becoming a redundant category. A song with French lyrics is just as likely to speak of life in Mali, New Caledonia, Quebec and Haiti as it is Paris, where so many pop songs unfurl in English these days anyway. More than ever, it’s personal rather than territorial borders that music must help us negotiate. Which brings us to Fefe, who made his name in the French rap collective Saian Supa Crew but now brings us his first solo album, titled ‘Jeune a la retraite’. Like him, it’s a bit French, a bit Nigerian, with a touch of rap, soul and blues to spice the brew. You could call it world music, but that wouldn’t be saying much. Instead, at the risk of sounding twee, it’s music with conscience, spirit and compassion; if you don’t speak French, his sensibility seeps through the notes. So does that especially African quirk of making you dance from your hips. So forget the words, just go with it.

Post by Cartell Music 8/03/11

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