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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING album,
This review is from: Tres Tres Fort (MP3 Download)
Forget the Buena Vista Social Club. If you want a heart warming tale of musical success in the face of extreme adversity then buy this CD and listen to the sound of these paraplegic street musicians from Kinshasa, Congo and their rhythm and blues, funk inflected rumba.
Recorded out in the open, mainly in the zoological garden in Kinshasa using 12 microphones, a laptop and a 100m mains cable stealing electricity from a deserted bar this album captures the sound of Staff Benda Bilili on their home turf.
Comprising of 4 senior singer/guitarists perched on their customised tricycles, a younger rhythm section and 17 year old Roger who uses a unique one stringed electric lute he made himself using a length of electrical wire attached to a small wooden bow and then inserted in a metal dried milk can which he calls a Satonge, this album is raw yet oozes soul, positivity and vibrancy.
`Je T'Aime', my personal favourite, takes it's cue from James Brown with it's infectious groove, `sex machine' refrain, Roger's Hendrix like riffing and a soul vocal that makes me want to cry and dance simultaneously.
`Polio' is a slow heartfelt, yet amazingly unbitter, appeal to the listening public recommending vaccination against poliomyelitis and coming from a band, half of whom have lost the use of their legs because of the disease, it's a message that carries some serious weight.
As with much Rumba music you are never far away from the sound of Cuba which the Congolese musicians of the 50's and 60's reappropriated and this is most evident on the laid back `Sala Keba' as is a love of reggae on the skanking `Sala Mosala'.
Mostly the album consists of up-tempo dance numbers designed to make you shake it and that's what I suggest you do whilst giving thanks that you are able to.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic Kinshasa,
Especially for anyone who knows Kinshasa and its particular magic this CD will come as pure nostalgia. The music is contemporay African classic and resonates with the atmosphere on the streets of this vast community of les Kinois. The group Staff Benda Billi bring it all back, all that's missing is a glass of Tembo! Hypnotic don't miss it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The heartbeat of Central Africa,
This is the music you hear on long taxi-brousse rides through dusty landscapes; the music you hear reverberating through teeming marketplaces; this is the heartbeat of Central Africa, an it is typical of upbeat, rhythmic, slightly Latin-influenced Zairois/Congolese music. It is typical, but at the same time individual by the funny and funky one-string electric lute! Hours after hearing this it stlll playing in your head, giving your walk that extra little beat in your step! Excellent.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Triumphant !,
The Staff Benda Bilili Film was a truly heart warming story that restores faith in humanities ability to triumph over extreme poverty and adversity. These musicians clearly love life and are driven to succeed against great odds. This FANTASTIC recording and their current tour/adventure I sincerely hope will enrich their and their families lives. I have never come across anybody who deserves to succeed more than Staff Benda Bilili. Details of the band has been discussed elsewhere so I would just like add that this is REAL MUSIC full of spirit and hope, it makes you smile toe-tap and feel glad to be alive.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tres tres puissant!,
Superb, inspiring, funky, original (to me anyway - don't know enough about congolese music to compare) and raw & great musicianship. Saw them live and was blown away, as with John lee Hooker and George Clinton. Bought the CD for several friends. If you like blues, soul, ska, world, buena vista social club etc etc or just like good music and want to dance.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Staff Benda Bilili,
Vibrant African sounds, lovely rhythyms, catchy tunes, worthy cause as the artists are all disabled. The single string lute playing is the high note!
4.0 out of 5 stars Great music,
A sounds of africa made by guys dibilitated from polio but it doesnt stop them from enjoying and making music. Funky beats and songs even if you dont speak french (which I dont!).
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful,
what an amazing group of musicians who spread joy with their sheer enthusiasm and ingenuity. i would love to see them live.
5.0 out of 5 stars a avoir,
ce disque c'est de la bombe, regardez le docuemntaire et achetez le cd les yeux fermés. je suis allé a Kinshasa et c'est ca, Kin la poubelle.
je suis impatient pour le second lp.
pour conclure c'est TRES TRES FORT
5.0 out of 5 stars Infectiously Brilliant Music,
This album is just brilliant, the songs are really catchy and danceable, and I'd highly recommend the film about these guys too.
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