Various Artists – Luaka Bop, Cuisine Non-Stop: Introduction to the French Nouvelle Generation

Brian Cullman

By Brian Cullman

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A compilation of European grooves that have their own frothy, Gallic swing.

Here's a surprising and surprisingly musical compilation of new sounds from France. For far too long the best French music was Belgian (Jacques Brel), unashamedly retro (Edith Piaf, Django Reinhardt), or unembarrassedly derivative (Johnny Hallyday). But in recent years that's changed, partly through the new respect afforded the late Serge Gainsbourg, partly through the influx of great musicians from French territories (Khaled, Cheikh Tidiane Seck, George Decimus) and partly through a shift in mentality: diverse French musicians like Manu Chao, Francis Cabrel, Keren Ann, Camille, Noir Desir and Casse Pipe are no longer looking over their shoulders at America or Britain but are more and more creating their own sound, a European groove that has its own frothy, Gallic swing. The best of the bunch here (Lo'Jo's “Baji Larabat,” Les Pires'wonderfully evocative “Dancing with Jean-Maurice”) make unapologetically French music and create a lovely accompaniment to any cuisine.