VALTONYC is Majorcan. He raps in his tongue. Texts that have earned him a three-and-a-half-year sentence for “apology of terrorism”, “threats” and (we think we dream …) “insults to the crown”. Knowing that Amnesty International, in its annual report, pinpoints the “apology of terrorism” that the Spanish justice system uses excessively, it seems clear that the judgment condemning VALTONYC would be invalid if the rapper lodged an appeal with the European Human Rights Court. In the meantime, he has put himself at the disposal of the Belgian Justice (like a certain Carles Puigdemont) who refuses to proceed with his extradition.
Let’s stay there with this rights and political chapter. However, it was important to clarify the context surrounding the project “Piet Hein”, whose album was released on the label of homerecords.be. A label repeatedly applauded for its openness and for which “freedom of expression” has nothing fancy. In exile on Belgian soil, the rapper does not sit idly by. He writes new provocative texts whose flow he subjects to the groove of his new friend eRno le Mentholé. The pianist, who claims not to belong to any particular musical genre (or even rap) succeeds here a beautiful mutation of hip hop tinged with a blue touch of very good taste.
Well supported here and there by a trumpet solo (Bart Maris), a saxophone lick (Manu Hermia) or the heat of a beleaguered bass (Boris Schmidt), “Piet Hein” comes out of the heavy context in which he could have plummeted … and cliches that sometimes surround rap.
This metaphorical “Piet Hein” (a reference to a Dutch pirate of the 16th century who returns as a hero in his country after having been imprisoned by the Spaniards) will please you as much for his musicality as for his approach.
eRno Le Mentholé: keyboard
Boris Schmidt: double bass
Manu Hermia: saxophone
Bart Maris: trumpet