Okayafrica’s Top 15 Albums of 2015
From Malian desert rock to Afro-Cuban chants to ‘Noirwave’ and beyond, we list the 15 best albums of the year.
Petite Noir ‘La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful’
Cape Town-raised Congolese-Angolan artist Yannick Ilunga, better known as Petite Noir, has been refining the sound of ‘Noirwave’—a new forward-thinking African aesthetic that takes light cues from post-punk and new wave—for over three years.
La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful, his debut album on the independent powerhouse Domino Records, feels like the apex of the ‘Noirwave’ sound. Through its 11 songs, Petite Noir guides listeners through a new electronic African sound influenced by the likes of Fela Kuti, Tabu Ley Rochereau and Yasiin Bey (who he has previously collaborated with).
“It’s just the story their music tells and the sense of freedom,” Petite Noir’s commented. “It’s about seeing the positive in dark times.”