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

Latest Islington Entertainment Stories

Wed, 16:46

Following the success of their Haggerston and Seven Dials venues, Chick ‘n’ Sours bring a fresh new menu to their latest restaurant in Islington.

Wed, 15:58

This Monday, a pop-up record and book store aiming to ‘explore the positive connection between mental health and the arts’ will open in Stoke Newington for a one week stay.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Some of Hackney and Islington’s most popular eateries have joined forces with DesignMyNight.com – a nightlife discovery website – to stage a weekender dedicated to brunch in all its glory.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Born and raised in Islington, the revered music journalist Barry Cain is also a real talent when it comes to fiction writing. His first novel – The Types of Wrath – is available now.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now