Monday, June 29, 2015

Mbongwana Star -- Malukayi


  1. nice sort of a subtle afrofuturism if that's not an oxymoron

    1. They are a really interesting band too. From the Guardian review:

      "The video for Mbongwana Star’s debut single, Malukayi, was a mysterious and rather compelling thing. Figures loom out of a low-lit, smoke-wreathed gloom: a dancer, a frantic percussionist, a couple of middle-aged men in wheelchairs, and, most intriguingly, a spaceman wandering the streets of Kinshasa. The latter seemed like the perfect metaphor for a track that seemed to have fallen out of the sky, that somehow managed to be both identifiably Congolese – you can’t mistake the amplified likembes of guest stars Konono No 1 – and utterly unlike anything else the fertile Kinshasa music scene had yet produced: hypnotic rhythm patterns that clattered and echoed as if they were being played at the end of a vast tunnel; vocals coated with so much distortion they sounded like something picked up on a shortwave radio; a beautiful, keening male voice marooned over spacey electronics and mournful gusts of feedback to eerie effect.

      It turned out to be the work of Coco Ngambali and Theo Nsituvuidi, formerly famed as two of the guys in the souped-up tricycle wheelchairs from Staff Benda Bilili, the band of paraplegic and homeless musicians whose rise from grinding poverty in Kinshasa to global recognition was one of the more startling musical stories of recent years. After their acrimonious departure from Staff Benda Bilili in 2013 over management disputes – anyone in the market for horrible irony might note that it took the good old music industry less than four years to break up a band that had previously stuck together for six on the streets of one of the poorest cities in the world – the fiftysomething Ngambali and Nsituvuidi recruited younger musicians from their hometown, apparently intent on making something radically different to Staff Benda Bilili’s stew of Congolese rumba and R&B. The other main protagonist on From Kinshasa appears to be Dublin-born, Paris-based Liam Farrell, once the drummer with Les Rita Mitsouko, subsequently a trip-hop producer and latterly a collaborator with Afrobeat legend Tony Allen."

    2. cool thanks