Wednesday, September 14, 2016

zaire: musiques urbaines à kinshasa

The tale of how a collection of Congolese thumb pianos provided the missing link between punk, techno and all points in between, has taken 25 years to tell. And like fellow music visionaries across the globe, the remarkable sound they created was forged in the most desperate of circumstances and in the harshest of places.
Konono No 1 emerged from the Angola/Congo border bush and relocated to Kinshasa, steeped in the traditional Bazombo trance music. They amassed a collection of differently pitched likembé (thumb pianos, or metal rods attached to resonators and pick-ups), plus pots, pans, cutlery, microphones adapted from car parts, whistles, massed vocals passed though megaphones and a massive sound system.
This remarkable, unique noise soon garnered a fanatical following at home. The DIY nature of their equipment provided an integral, distorted sound, a healthy hum seeping into every rhythmic pause. The combination of all these elements created something notably African in pace and texture, coincidentally nodding to Western electronica.
The likembé merge to provide a brutal, hypnotising beat, the cousin to The 13th Floor Elevators' electrified jug or John Cale's manic viola. The rapid intensity of rhythm matches the finest exponents of Krautrock, occasionally drifting close to the confused energy of Aphex Twin or Autechre, with the damaged tempo of Beefheart or Marc Ribot slithering in.
It could really be from anywhere, at any time; its rawness at odds with the slow fall towards slickness and a polished, homogenised sound so sought after these days. And like all the best music, it needs to be played loud, as loud as their legendary, dizzying live performances...
This music comes from somewhere unknown and offers hope that there are worlds of music out there, unexplored and waiting to be discovered.
- Dale Shaw BBC (UK)

zaire: musiques urbaines à kinshasa
ocora c559007 hm65 (1987)
Recorded live November 1978 Kinshasa

cd @320vbr
01 ORCHESTRE SANKAI Rythme Kuatankuaka 14.25
03 ORCHESTRE BAMBALA Animation Kifuti 9.25
04 ORCHESTRE BANA LUYA Animation Bana Luya 23.05

super-expanded dual-cassette set @192
01 ORCHESTRE BANA LUYA Animation Bana Luya 28'50
02 ORCHESTRE BAMBALA Animation Kifuti 28'33
03 ORCHESTRE SANKAI Kuata Nkuaka 28'16
04 ORCHESTRE T.P. LIKEMBE KONOKO (sic!) Mungua-Muanga 28'41
05 ORCHESTRE T.P. TULU LISANGA BANGANGA Animation (unnamed) 15'14 (extra track!)
(see Bolingo69's comment)


icastico said...

I was distracted by Horoya and almost missed this gem...thanks

bolingo69 said...

N.B. This IS NOT the CD version with edited tracks.
This is the full lenght versions!

Although the CD version Is already here I guess this is what most people would want to listen to instead if they knew about it!

The first 4 tracks were issued on cassettes by Ocora as a possibility to publish the longer versions. And for some reason that I cannot remember (I got this long ago!) I have a 5th bonus track for this cassette release that is not listed on the cassette itself and I cannot see how it could have fitted on the cassettes but there it is and it is great!

Seeing the interest in the great new issues Orchestre Tout Puissant Likembé Konono N° 1 (misspelled as Konoko on the cassette but not on the CD) that has been appearing on Congotronics I thought many would like to hear what they sounded like in the seventies!

Here are their first recording together with four nearly half hour long versions of the other orchestras tracks together with the bonus track.

Ocora 4558686_7 - Musiques Urbaines a Kinshasa - K7 P. 1979

01 Animation Bana Luya 28'50 Orchestre Bana Luya
02 Animation Kifuti 28'33 Orchestre Bambala
03 Kuata Nkuaka 28'16 Orcheste Sankai
04 Mungua-Muanga 28'41 Orchestre T.P. Likembe Konoko (sic!)
05 Animation (unnamed) 15'14 Orch. T.P.Tulu Lisanga Banganga (extra track!)

here is the link to the zip of 192 Kbps CBR rip:

Anonymous said...

there's more stuff in that style (bantandu) from bas-congo, like maitre make pé, check:

Scraps said...

The zippy download with the full-length tracks and the extra track is expired (sob).

bolingo69 said...

I'll try to post it when I am back n my archives in the northernmost regions of Luobaniya in April please comment again here or save the post for the time being …

Scraps said...

I'll try; thanks!

Quino Piñero said...

Great recordings, thanks !!!

philip said...

@boilingo69___ please can you re up the 1979 cassete version??? Thanks a lot!!!!!

Lucky said...

ah, reservatory - the cassette version was one of the most intriguing things appearing on this lovely blog! wasn't it? :)

cheers and all the best to you,

bolingo69 said...

Is the cassette still missing since the brake down of Rabidshare?

Lucky said...

Hi bolingo - reservatory's new link on oboom (in the post) seems to be working, although rather slow. Once can't thank you enough for this treasure - it's one of the most thrilling music I had the pleasure to listen to! :)

P. S.: I'm no member of this blog anymore, ages ago already.

bolingo69 said...

Niether am I … having suffered several hard didk crashes and realizing that life is nt openended I am now mostly listening to live music five months a year in Madras and seven months of canned archived recordings and there is mroe than enough I have not listened properly to. I may try to update my vinyl blog after spring next year if the weather in Sweden is to cold to roam outdoors when I return from India. I remember many of your excellent postings and am happy to see lines from you! Hoping you are well and enjoying your music!

reservatory said...

Greetings, all! When I first checked this monster CD out of the library I couldn't believe it - Sister Ray from a very different universe, so I was astounded by Bolingo's discovery. I try to keep the lights on here, just because. Thanks to the both of you for showing an old dog how. Literally.

Scraps said...

Wave, everybody!

I probably have "more than enough I have not listened properly to", as bolingo69 puts it, and yet I still scan the internet, seeing if there's something else Important that I've not listened to, or not heard of, etc. Because I pride myself (pat, pat) that I've listened to, or at least heard of, every bloody thing Important in the world. Uh-huh. Well, as a thing to live for, it's not bad, I guess.


Lucky said...

Scraps - the problem might be to define "important" properly... :)

For me this cassette and the Jean-Claude Roché bird recordings of Venzuela where major discoveries on the Psychic Hut!

Scraps said...

Love those birds recordings!

Lucky said...

The only bird recordings shareable at ADSOB are Charlie Parker's, I guess... :)

reservatory said...
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reservatory said...

Well, lemme see... Lucky pointed me to "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden - A Portrait Of David Toop Through His Record Collection" way way back in the zeros, from which everything was set in motion, for which I owe him a million actual tweets and twitters and chirps. And bleeps!

Lucky said...

Let me give you a big virtual hug, reservatory!

May the Psychic Hut will be undusted and lucky again one day. :)


P. S.: @Toop: he issued his old recordings from Venezuela some time ago. A small portion he issued on Bead, now on 2CD's (and vinyl, too). I bought it, and it's a marvel, I tell you! His new book "Into the Maelstrom" about improvisation is equally thrilling... ;)

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