Mbongwana Star: From Kinshasa | Album Review

Fri, May 22, 2015, 00:00

   
 

Album:
From Kinshasa

Artist:
Mbongwana Star

Label:
World Circuit

Genre:
World Music

Picking themselves up from the meltdown of Staff Benda Bilili after two successful albums, songwriters Coco Ngambali and Theo Nzonza sought a new sound, a “change” (mbongwana).

Their meeting with Irish/Parisian producer Liam Farrell (aka Doctor L – producer of Tony Allen’s experimental Black Voices) was the catalyst.

A meandering bassline, a wash of electronics and drifting vocals build to a funky rumba melée, voices calling and responding.

The sweetly plaintive Coco Blues is followed by a perfect rock ‘n’ roll moment as guests, Konono No 1, kick in with their trademark distorted thumb-pianos; and 1 million c’est Quoi? with its lyrical guitar lines and uplifting voices is a glorious finale.

Fashioned from the crucible of Kinshasa’s recycle-reuse culture, this is a triumphant piece of alchemy. 

worldcircuit.co.uk