Petite Noir: La Maison Noir / The Black House (ROYA) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Petite Noir

La Maison Noir / The Black House


Dec 06, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Frantz Fanon once wrote that “each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.” In this framing, the struggles for collective liberation and personal awakening are unified into a single revolutionary project that must begin with the understanding of where we stand. On Petite Noir’s latest, La Maison Noir / The Black House, the artist is presented as a symbol of the empowered will who through their own act of creation can bring about a radical change in consciousness capable of awakening our rebellious nature.

The third in Petite Noir’s series of “Noirwave” albums, this is the first to be accompanied by visuals. As the album opens, we find Petite Noir wandering alone in the desert as a spoken word narration addressed to his past self warns of an impending awakening that will forever alter the course of his younger self’s life. The narration sets the tone for the rest of the album as the tracks explore his family’s personal history and locate an elemental force for creation that has always belonged to him. Affected mbiras and buzzing bass synths mix with ‘80s chorus guitar lines and funk licks to bring about a unique palate assembled from the disparate elements of a collective musical history.

Petite Noir acutely recognizes the struggles of the individual will are inseparable from the struggles of a collective body. Track names like “Hanoi” and the diversity of the sounds attest to the global perspective of the album that finds parallels in shared struggles the world over. Through linking his own struggles with others across borders and time, Petite Noir discovers that through dislocation community can be created. As the visual album comes to a close we are presented with the images of a baptism, of a renewal, that can only come from struggle. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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