COMPOSERS: Mathieu Kassovitz
WORKS: La Haine
CATALOGUE NO: VIR 45 S636
Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine is a dazzling visual essay on urban disaffection on a Paris housing estate. The associated soundtrack has been conceived as a thing in itself: eleven views from the lower depths, expressed through eleven modes of rap.
But this is French rap, sweeter and more subtle than most American varieties, and musically more interesting. The messages are what you would expect from poor blacks in a land which degrades them – anger and disgust, a resigned pessimism, but also a weird hope that the world can be made anew. These tracks build up a wonderful momentum as they surf along on their cushion of voices and drums.