I told you all. Did you listen? Did you bollocks! But I told you. In 2018. Right before midnight I put a post on my site like it was News From The Front. I said to you. “Fantastic Negrito. He’s our Man. He’s the great white hope for the future of rock and/or roll”. OK. He isn’t white. OK, I did pretend he lets me call him Fanta and I may have flooded the internet that day with a bunch of other hyperbolic posts about the songs from the year that (in hindsight) really was the last time we western world dwelling humans would know the old 20th century version of normal.
2019 came. The blog ended at 1000 posts of 1000 songs (or thereabouts) and I wrote a fond farewell. Then I came back as an author a couple of months later. “Wooty wooty woo! I’ve written a book. I’m wearing a cape and pretending to be an artist*”. I enjoyed it. You guys were really sweet. It was Christmas. I rounded off the year with a blitz of the remaining songs from 2019 I hadn’t posted so far. That’s where I last parped on to you lot about Fanta.
Then I gave you another farewell. A sort of low key version of the first one. I posted Ozzy Osbourne’s farewell track (of that particular week) did some “I’ve Been SteveForTheDeaf. You’ve been The Internet. Stay Classy Uncanny Valley!” And gone.
Some shoe crime based static in the fabric of the universe aside that was the last broadcast.
Lockdown loomed large. I got all uppity and thought I’d do another novel. I couldn’t pull it off. It fell apart in the face of the pandemic and at the sight of reality knocking at my door to collect it’s back rent. Lockdown ended. Restarted. Took 3 months. 6 months. 9 months. Still going on and on.
2 years later. How have we got on? That Fantastic Negrito has not been resting. He’s put out 3 albums in 4 years that mix soul, garage, hip hop, blues, rock and indie in a unique blend. They’ve got an air of Childish Gambino with a garage blues guitar. They’re B.B King doing The White Stripes as much as they’re Queen influenced by Screamin’ Jay featuring Foxy Shazam.
On his most recent single (feat. Zion I) the full on synthy sampled riff has him sounding like a contemporary of the Kanye’s and the Drake’s of the world. On his 2020 album Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? he’s more soulful. More in touch with that groove based thing that has ruled 2020. From Black Pumas to Beck’s reduxed Hyperspace to Michael Kiwanuka.
On How Long? Fanta grooves, emotes and wails like he’s ‘been down for so god damned long’ over organ parps and his own guitar noodles. It’s a timeless piece of genre music. The genre is rock and roll. You know. It’s good clean dirty soulful stuff. A swagger and a purity. Dirt in it’s treads but a shine to it’s paintwork. The solo is a spacious affair. Like a shabby chic loft apartment. It’s both rough and ready and top draw classy expensive. The album is full of twists and turns like this. All classy brassy tooty grooves and big old backing girl harmonies. It’s the perfect album for the end of the world.
Seriously guys. We’re running out of time. We’re running out of air. This little Christmas Miracle of 31 posts while Santa’s Magic hangs in the air is really only here as a trick of the light. By New Years Day I’ll be gone again. A Ghost on the airwaves of the internet. Before it all slips into the sea and the lights go out for good. Listen to Fantastic Negrito. Listen to How Long? Enjoy it. My gift to you from the after life.
*I have never worn a cape