SUNDAY CLASSIC GTC: FANTASTIC NEGRITO – The Duffler (Please Don’t Be Dead, LP)
by Walter Price
I don’t know when Soul, Blues, and R&B became so watered down to fit into formula-heavy commercial radio. But the repetition, and sameness of current hitmakers rarely satisfy my hunger. Then I got my ears onto Fantastic Negrito’s latest release Please Don’t Be Dead. A brutally honest look at the state of The States. It’s no news to people who use their noggin for thinking that the world is in the most bizarre era history has seen. Communities of the United States, its President, and the sudden urge for folks to be super PC/woke (real or not) are leading the way into a near desolate sort of paranoid uneasiness.
This album and its frontman, Xavier Dphrepaulezz, explore these landscapes. In powerful blues laced soul, funk, and R&B. At times, consciously or not, sonically thumbing a nose at the formulaic pop radio offerings. Using the band’s powers to educate, bear witness, and plead for a viable future of arguably the greatest country on Earth.
In sounds, the second single, “The Duffler”, finds itself someplace between hints of Prince, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Sly & The Family Stone. Nowhere near mimicry, rather, in the spectrum of the groove. Lyrically, the track is a song lingering in the realities of choices made. Cause and effect, awareness, and redemption can be a bitch. It’s a heavy track with plenty of juice to move you both physically and mentally.
If you’re looking for an alternative to what you’ve been served, something socially conscious, this is it…
[23. July 2018]
FANTASTIC NEGRITO Please Don’t Be Dead
+ The Duffler
Written by: Xavier Dphrepaulezz
Producer: Xavier Dphrepaulezz
Mixer: Matt Winegar, except track 8 & 10 – Nahuel Bronzini
Mastering: Dave McNair
Video Director: Freddy Macdonald
Producer: Fred Macdonald
Cinematographer: Sebastian Klinger
Editor: Freddy Macdonald
Production Company: Macdonald Entertainment Partners
“…is the incarnation of a musician who is reborn after going through a lot of awful shit. In fact, the name Fantastic Negrito represents his third rebirth, literally coming back from death this time. The narrative on this man is as important as the sound because the narrative is the sound. Songs born from a long hard life channeled through black roots music. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Urgent, desperate, edgy. Fantastic Negrito is the story of a man who struggled to “make it”, who “got it”, who lost it all, and somehow managed to find his way back. These are singular songs by a true musician who writes and produces his own work. His songs are his fuel as he continues on the third comeback of his life, at a time when our world is in upheaval.” – bio