A friend on SoundCloud and other social media outlets, Hugo Kant recently shared with me his debut release called “I Don’t Want to be an Emperor” and I was blown away! Being a huge fan of everything David Holmes does musically, I tend to gravitate towards similar sounding stuff. Kant originates from Marseille, France, the same country as great chillout/nu jazz artist St Germain (aka Ludovic Navarre) which is not where the similarities end. I believe Kant has a very similar sound to St Germain as well as far as incorporating improvised jazz instrumentation with electronic sounds.
I first heard the opening track “This Old Tune” and it immediately got my head bobbing. A very catchy flute melody along with the hard hitting beat starts the track off right. It then evolves in to a jazz flute improv session that dances around a bluesy electronic guitar part.
The track that really made me believe Hugo Kant was the real deal was “Thou Shall Not Kill.” It starts off with the same type of deep stand up bass sound and is surrounded by glitches, movie dialogue samples, some terrific flute playing, great horn ensemble work, and SO many more enjoyable sounds. It has an irresistible groove similar to “This Old Tune.” It easily could be featured in a heist scene for a crime thriller motion picture and the same can be said for many tracks on “I Don’t Want to be….” especially the slick and sneaky sounding “June.”
The album title and subsequent track “I Don’t Want to be an Emperor” is taken from a segment of a speech from Charlie Chaplin in the film “The Great Dictator.” You can also hear the speech during the title track. If Kant continues to put out music as good as this, he may have no choice but to be an “emperor” of chill. This debut album dropped yesterday, June 27th on Bellring Records also out of Marseille, France and can be picked up on iTunes. Please check it out, you won’t regret it! I have included the SoundCloud shared version of the album below for your listening pleasure.