Julien Jacob


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Coming from Benin by way of France is this sophomore album from Julien Jacob, an interesting figure in African music. Attempting to avoid the pitfalls that can be introduced by the meanings and connotations of words, Jacob puts the focus squarely on the power of music in its own right by using his own invented language, a meaningless collection of sounds that appears to be based in French and follows basic phonetic rules. The result is a slinking, alternately rousing round of music that manages to hold lyrical power, but through the sonic possibilities of language rather than the semantic. Aside from the gimmick of the faux language, the album is striking, almost seductive. Definitely worth a listen for an interesting take on African music and the cultural mix of Africa and Europe.

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