Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Les Negresses Vertes, formed in 1987, are a French music group who are best described as a fusion of world music and some aspects of alternative rock. Their particular musical influences were Gypsy music, Punk Rock, Algerian raï, Mediterranean and South American music and French café music. Their tracks often feature acoustic guitar and accordion, as well as some tracks containing many other 'traditional' instruments such as piano and brass. Their style is fairly upbeat and energetic on the majority of their tracks, with unusual rhythms, vocals delivered with a generous dose of zeal and vibrant energy, and accompaniment melodies ranging from lilting and distant to eccentric and fast-paced. These two factors give many of their pieces a strong sense of direction.
The original nine-member lineup--Helno, Braham, l'Ami Ro, the Mellinos, Paulus, Canavase, Gaby, and Ochowiak--created the band out of a friendship, making them a tight-knit unit. In addition, many were new to their instruments, resulting in unorthodox styles of playing. Underneath Les Négresses Vertes' dramatic punk-folk sound and energy existed the influences of blues, mambo, Latin, and various other forms of music, an incredible mix that immediately struck a chord with French audiences. In 1988, the group released their first single, the uncharacteristic hardcore punk protest song "200 Ans D'Hypocrisie."

No comments: