Zazou / Bikaye / CY1 - Noir Et Blanc LP
Label: Crammed Discs
Noir Et Blanc is a signature record for Crammed Discs, the Belgian label that has curated an eclectic roster of artists from around the globe since 1980, including Tuxedomoon, Konono No. 1 and Arto Lindsay. This particular album was originally released in 1983 and marks the first collaboration for Algerian-born / French-resident Hector Zazou and Congolese singer Bony Biyake. After Noir Et Blanc, the two continued to work together throughout the '80s. Here, the two are joined by a very interesting cast of characters in the studio, including the analog synth duo CY1 (comprised of Claude Micheli and Guillaume Loizillon), Fred Frith, Marc Hollander and Vincent Kenis (the future producer of the Congotronics series).
Within this inspired marriage of Central African music and post-punk electronics, Hector Zazou's arrangements are kept minimal yet funky through his supple sequencing. Even amidst the choppy, art-rock guitars and mechanized polyrhythms, Noir Et Blanc always turns its focus back to Biyake's marvelously rich voice. Since the original release of the album, generations of fans, musicians and DJs have constantly (re)discovered thed album, hailing it as an unsurpassed Afro-electronic milestone. RIYL Liquid Liquid, African Head Charge, William Onyeabor's Afro-synth funkiness and the Music From Memory ethno-ambient hybrids.
"One of the most innovative LPs of the year... resembles the startling outcome of an imaginary collaboration between DAF and Fela Kuti" - Melody Maker, UK, '83
"Fela Kuti-meets-Kraftwerk-on-the-dancefloor - International Musician, USA, '86