CMU Approved

Approved: Débruit

By | Published on Tuesday 22 May 2012


Where once ‘world music’ was a term that would cause eyes to glaze over and subjects to be changed, various strands of traditional and non-traditional music from around the world have found their way into western contemporary songs of all kinds in recent years. In particular, 60s and 70s African influences have begun appearing with reasonable regularity in both rock and dance music, thanks to renewed interest in the likes of Fela Kuti, the growth of the internet, and Vampire flippin Weekend.

At worst, these complex rhythms are used to disguise otherwise tedious and generic lo-fi rock, at best they’re twisted and manipulated into something new and exiting. Débruit sits firmly at the latter end of that scale.

Xavier Thomas began releasing music as Débruit in 2008, steadily unveiling a series of EPs focussed on the sounds of Benin, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and more, though he bent numerous other genres around them. Clearly he has a great knowledge of and respect for all the music he borrows from, but when creating his own tracks has no qualms about attempting to force square blocks into round holes – kicking them until they’ve left splinters all over the studio floor if necessary.

His debut album, ‘From The Horizon’, is due for release via Civil Music on 4 Jun. A labour of love three years in the making, it was created from field recordings, archive material, old VHS tapes, and his own reinterpretations of African melodies and rhythms on synths and drum machines. Along the way hip hop, house, Turkish folk, techno, electro and funk all find their way into the mix without it ever seeming cluttered or over-cooked.

While you wait to get your hands on the full release, check out this mini-mix of the album’s thirteen tracks here: