Mbongwana Star: From Kinshasa (World Circuit)

 |   |  <1 min read

Mbongwana Star: Suzanna
Mbongwana Star: From Kinshasa (World Circuit)

Just as Memphis, Liverpool, Jamaica, Iceland and Sweden were not in the sightlines of pop music before great artists emerged from there, it's a fair bet 10 years ago no one would have put money on Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Then the Congotronics collections introduced us to the likes of Konono No1, Kisanzi Congo and others working with cheap electronic equipment and battered instruments to deliver deep, danceable and infectious Afro-rock.

Then Staff Benda Bilili (a one-string guitar, guys in wheelchairs) also sprang out of the city with vibrant pop-cum-world music.

This debut by Mbongwana Star – a seven piece founded by former members of Staff Benda Bilili – will catch many even further off-guard for its hip-hop influenced blend of Congolese rumba and bargain bin, electronic special effects.

Produced by Paris-based Liam Farrell (aka Dr L), this is an off-kilter, mashed-up freak-out of rumba'n'roll, UK-styled post-punk basslines, unusual vocals and chipping guitar-funk beats.

From the tumbling opener From Kinshasa To The Moon through the other nine unpredictable songs which follow (close to Byrne/Eno's Bush of Ghosts-meets-PiL if you need a half-wrong/right reference), you'll not find a more odd or good-natured album to baffle friends and yourself.

Kinshasa, huh? Who knew?

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Mundi: In the Blink of an Eye (Monkey)

Mundi: In the Blink of an Eye (Monkey)

Every now and again New Zealand throws up a group which has a jazz/improv aspect but looks to diverse world music for influences. Elsewhere has posted albums by Superbrew from the Eighties and,... > Read more

Various Artists: High Life Time 2 (Vampi Soul)

Various Artists: High Life Time 2 (Vampi Soul)

The enjoyable reissues of West African music by the Strut, Sound Way and Vampi Soul labels (Funky Lagos, Ghana Special, High Life and others) have brought back music from the Sixties and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE GENIUS OF JERRY LEWIS: All fall down

THE GENIUS OF JERRY LEWIS: All fall down

Jerry Lewis is in his early 80s so it’s hardly surprising people don’t talk about him much anymore. His last decent movie appearance was in The King of Comedy in 83 as the arrogant... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; Western Swing, The Absolutely Essential 3CD Collection

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; Western Swing, The Absolutely Essential 3CD Collection

Although the title of this collection might seem to oversell itself, and these 60 songs come with no liner notes, you set all that aside because of the consistent quality of the content and the... > Read more