Animal is the debut album from Fakear – as 24 year-old Théo Le Vigoureux has been professional known since 2013 – and, being the son of music teachers, it is not surprising that he has ended up in the music making business. Opener, Sheer-Khan, establishes Fakear’s proclivity for deploying vocal samples in interesting ways, with the interplay between rhythms and syncopations propelling the listener on. English singer Rae Morris features on Silver – which is a good track, if a little too standard – and on closing number, Leaving Tokyo, where her vocals add a welcome warmth and earthiness to the song’s dreamy, free-floating musicality.
Light Bullet is another song to feature an English guest vocalist, this time Andreya Triana, but while Triana’s warm, soulful, vocals are strong and compelling, Fakear’s minimal – and frankly a little boring – music leaves the listener wondering if, in getting Triana to sign on for the track, Le Vigoureux is the dog that caught the car – now he’s got it, he has no idea what to do with it. Luckily, missteps such as this are easily outweighed by the times Fakear gets it right, such as Lessons’ infectious rhythms, or the chilled atmospherics of De La Luz.
Le Chant Du Monde – French for “Song of the World” – has a pounding rhythm which is nicely augmented by counter-rhythms, and the solid build to the song demonstrates that Fakear has a solid grasp on the art of composition. While Le Chant Du Monde is a standout track, the album really belongs to La Lune Rousse – “The Red Moon” – which was previously released on 2014’s Sauvage EP. Opening with Latin meets Arabesque strings, Fakear’s use of Deva Premal’s vocals is truly captivating and throughout the track he deploys samples, loops, and electro-beats to great effect, ensuring the song is enthralling from start to end. Fakear still has a little way to go before his music is consistently outstanding, but he is well upon his way with Animal.