Petite Noir: La Vie est Belle/Life Is Beautiful | Album Review
La vie est belle/Life is Beautiful
The best bits on Yannick Ilunga’s debut album as Petite Noir are when he sounds like he doesn’t fit in with any scene whatsoever.
Maybe that’s down to geography and background – Ilunga was born in Brussels to Congolese and Angolan parents and raised in Cape Town.
His noirwave works off a broody, experimental, restless mix of electro, Afropop and old-fashioned trip-hop.
Ilunga is equally at home developing and fine-tuning elongated, slo-mo, art-funk shapes on Seventeen (Stay) as he is doing the twist on the brassy, bold, bracing, edgy clarion call of Best, which shimmies and shakes.
Elsewhere, Ilunga aims high but doesn’t quite attain the same results with the ambient dreamwave of Freedom and the epic, ambitious, glitchtastic Chess.
Such missteps aside, La Vie est Belle is a brave, formidable affair.