The longstanding FADER Mix series presents new, exclusive DJ mixes from our favorite artists and producers.
Yannick Illunga is the inscrutable Congolese artist who releases music as Petite Noir. For the past few years, he's made emotive, meticulously written songs that range from lo-fi and guitar-based to expansive and layered. This month, he returned with La Maison Noir, a gorgeous visual mini-album created in collaboration with Rharha Nembhard. The project is a beautiful rendering of his noirwave aesthetic and intent, which he's described as "a free thinking movement with Pan African roots." For his FADER Mix, Petite Noir delivers a grounding 30 minutes of noirwave, featuring some songs you may already love and some you may be gloriously introduced to today. Listen below and read on for more from Petite Noir.
What do you imagine people doing while listening to this mix?
While listening to this mix I imagine people with their hands in the air. Going crazy and going through different emotions. Like, going from sadness to laughter, etc.
Is there a track in particular that stands out? Why?
The track that sounds out for me is the Gita's "Ban Man." It stands out for me because it is a track that has a lot of depth and I love this new transformation of Gita. I heard her new project and it’s absolute fire!
What music or artists do you turn to for inspiration when you're working on projects of your own?
I listen to Mos Def, Kendrick Lamar, Ricky Rik, Yoko Ono, Theophilus London, Kanye West, Danny Brown, Saul Williams, Franco Luamba.
Your new project, La Maison Noir, is what you describe as a "mini album." What is the significance of that format to you?
The thing is whether a book is long or short, it’s still a book. I let it all play itself naturally and process decides how long the story is. Mini albums tho for me are generally more conceptual and tell a story. I love them for that. Straight to the point.
You work closely with Rharha Nembhard, who happens to be your partner. What is the key to successful creative collaboration?
The key to a successful creative collaboration is definitely communication. Make sure that you communicate and build a solid plan. Let everything go naturally and most of importantly make sure that you love what you do.
Moses Sumney, "Rank and File"
Okzharp & Manthe Ribane, "Why you in my Way"
Masego, "Lady Lady"
Theophilus London, "Bebey"
Riky Rick, "I can’t Believe it"
Sudan Archives, "Nont for Sale"
GAIKA, "Crown and Key"
Neneh Cherry, "Kong"
Gita, "Ban Man"
Kelela, "Waitin (Kaytranada Remix)"