Brigitte Fontaine & Areski Belkacem - Vous Et Nous
Ah those were different times! First released in '77 and then reissued as a deluxe two disc set in 2018, Vous et Nous was Areski Belkacem & Brigitte Fontaine's sixth album together, the product of a longstanding, creatively free-flowing relationship which substantiated the kind of sensitive cultural dialogue rarely afforded the liberty - or sincerity may i add - to exist now. As well as speaking to the French cultural heritage of chanson and folk song, the spectre of colonialism looms large across an astonishing 33 songs, drawing heavily on North African percussion and elliptical song structure. Not being a French speaker, i also take it on good faith that the lyrics themselves also reflect such issues and adopt a purposefully political stance. The results are compellingly hypnotic, the formation of a private understanding with a worldly eye akin to Maalem Mahmoud Guinia, Organic Music Society, Pascal Comelade, ZNR, or even Robert Wyatt. On the surface, pretty and inviting; below, an entire universe of revelations and inspirations to unravel. Set some time aside.
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