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Congo Life


Price: £17.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Congo Life + Rumba Congo
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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Sep 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Stern's Africa
  • ASIN: B0000ALWDY
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 170,493 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Delali
2. Lolita
3. Issake Shango
4. Affaire Mokuwa
5. Bebe Yaourt
6. Nakobala Te
7. Mandoyi
8. Lili
9. Souvenirs - OK - Jazz (Medley)
10. Oyebi Bien
11. Silence

Product Description

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

BBC Review

You'll be relieved to hear that Kékélé's magnificent 2001 debut album, Rumba Congo, wasn't a flash in the pan. In fact, judging from the evidence of Congo Life, there's a whole new world of reactivated acoustic Congolese music to come from these guys, and before long I can foresee them having a brand-sound body of work equivalent to that of their Afro-Salsa counterparts, Africando. They really are that good.

Main members Syran Mbenza, Nyboma and Wuta Mayi formed part of 80s soukous pioneers Les Quatre Etoiles. Bumba Massa and Loko Massengo, both top solo singers with various Congolese bands over the years as well as solo performers, make up the inner circle, joined by semi-permanent honorary members Rigo Star (the guitarist whose style and arrangements kickstarted the solo careers of stars Mbilia Bel and Koffi Olomide in the late 80s) and French arranger/producer Francois Bréant.

All members contribute songs, some brand new, others tried-and-tested favourites from previous band incarnations. But whereas, first time around, they would have been subjected to the hard-core electro-studio sound of 80s and 90s soukous, here everything's acoustic.

But what acoustics! Rigo and Syran's guitar lines are a revelation, with an almost Hawaiian lilt, sometimes doubled with Caçau de Queiroz clarinet to give a similar effect to electric soukous guitar where occasion calls. Arranger Bréant uses strings and flute in three distinct ways: first, in the basic Cuban charanga style for the cha cha cha tracks; second, in the style of the great Martinican string-beguine orchestras like Malavoi, Matébis and La Mestiza; and finally, in European baroque mode -a style peculiarly suited to these delicate Congolese melodies, which in any event have a significant part of their roots in eighteenth and nineteenth-century European salon music.

There really isn't a weak track on the whole set, but special favourites? Loko Massengo's two songs "Lolita" and "Bebe Yaourt"; Bumba Massas contributions "Nakobala Te" and "Silence" (so good to see this giant of Congolese songwriting back in the limelight after too long); and of course, the Franco-homage medley "Souvenirs-OK-jazz".

Delicious melodies, inspired and original arrangements, faultless and non-indulgent playing, scalp-tingling voices are more than enough for this reviewer, at least, to reaffirm his long-held suspicion that the best African music and the best Congolese music are one and the same thing. --John Armstrong

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Feb 2005
Format: Audio CD
Imagine driving on a cold, wet day. Imagine driving in warm summer sunshine. This is the kind of up-tempo, feel-good music that can make your day feel just a little better. Very accessible to non-African ears, with well-honed delivery and lyrical plugged-in guitar. Every car CD-changer should hold music like this to ooze along to. Only one small niggle - the band can't resist namechecking itself on several tracks.
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By Martyn VINE VOICE on 7 July 2006
Format: Audio CD
I saw this band, and the sheer enthusiasm and love for what they're doing was so infectious that i'd have bought ten albums if they'd made that many.

This is prefectly-executed Congolese rumba, with good musiciannship and the vocals provided by a four-man ensemble all with distinctive character-filled voices.

The melodies are catchy, the musicianship precise (particularly the lilting clarinet), and it's just so wonderfully uplifting that it's hard to believe that the woman on the front cover is supposed to be crying because life's so hard in the Congo
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The best acoustic African Congolese album of the century 8 Nov 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Kékélé is a star studded Congolese band with vocalists Wuta-Mayi, Nyboma, Bumba Massa, and Loko Massengo with Syran Mbenza playing the acoustic guitar. The sound here is stunning, and the orchestration perfect, including beautifully layered acoustic guitars by Syran and Rigo Star, some tasty accordion spicing from Regis Gizavo of Madagascar, and on some tunes, an all-clarinet horn section (played by Caçau de Queiroz), harking back to the early days of Congolese rumba.
The violins on Loko Massengo's "Bebe Yaourt" is a revelation that this instrument marries well with the smooth vocals of Kékélé. "Souvenirs-OK-Jazz," a Medley of Franco hits is the final drop that spills the bucket of sweetness, it just becomes too much.
Kekele is to music what Real Madrid is to football.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Some of the sweetest, liveliest music in the world 11 Aug 2007
By dr bobbo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you like the rhythms of salsa, but not the frenetic speed, you will probably enjoy these Congolese playing, singing, and dancing "Rumba". Intriguing rhythms, and always happy, upbeat; almost impossible not to smile and start moving to it..

How the Congo in the midst of all its struggle and strife, managed to come up with these folks, and many others like them, is a miracle that I am very grateful for, but do not understand.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
From Cuba Via the Congo 30 July 2012
By Ronald Gold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Back in the 1950's, some musicians from what was then called Zaire, got wind of the Cuban rumba and proceeded to adapt it to their purposes. Gradually the style evolved to what is now called soukous, which can't be confused with the Cuban originals. Kekele is something different: an attempt to revert to the old-time African rumba, and the similarity to latter-day Latin American music is astounding. This disc, and others from the same source, are delicious music that has the same impact on me that The Buena Vista Social Club did some years back. What a total joy!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Joyful sounds 17 Oct 2010
By Lesliea - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm always surprised and delighted that people who have endured such hardship (political and economic) can produce music so full of joy. When I listen to Kekele, I find myself moving to the rhythm without thinking.
This cd is an especially good selection of songs. If you enjoy this CD, by all means listen to "Rhumba Congo." No doubt, you'll be dancing too!
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