FRENCH bands just seem to handle fusion music so naturally. They absorb the sounds around them, let them ferment and then uncork something with familiar flavours and an individual twist.
Enter Julien Lesuisse’s new band Crimi, a hard-funk four-piece who draw from the dynamic energy of his previous dance-focused crew Mazalda, the emotion of traditional Sicilian music and the electric drive of Algerian rai.
It’s that inventive spirit and dedication to arriving at a new blend that is at the heart of Crimi’s debut album, Luci e Guai, which is due for release on April 2nd on the Paris-based Airfono label. If you caught either of the first two previews from the record, the punchy pop of “Mano d’Oro” or the lean blues-rock balladry of “Quetzalcoati”, you would have begun to pick up on the range of possibilities that Crimi are discovering as a band.
Now comes the final single, “Chi Ci Talia”, to add a further layer of expectation before the album’s full release. This cut sees Crimi tuning into their rai influences with the infectious rhythms and acrobatic vocals from Lesuisse providing the characteristic uplift and urgency. Top that with double-beat handclaps, chattering qraqab castanets and reverberating guitar playing soaring Arabic patterns and you have a track that meets the highest global beat credentials.
As a fanfare to the upcoming album release, “Chi ci Talia” comes with its own cinematic, must-watch video. Shot artfully with Julien Lesuisse leading a raggle-taggle troupe of musicians through the narrow streets of a Normandy village, it’s got attitude and a visual flare that demands attention … much like Crimi’s music.
Crimi’s Luci e Guai will be released by Airfono digitally and on a limited vinyl pressing on April 2nd, and is available to pre-order now over at Bandcamp.