on 24 February 2012
There has been something of a buzz around Congolese music in the last few years, with the likes of Konono No. 1 both releasing albums and touring internationally, while compilations such as the Congotronics series or The Karindula Sessions have brought many obscure artists and musical forms to a wider audience. I suspect that we will come to recognise this cultural fireworks display as the equivalent of the Brazilian Tropicalia movement of the 1960s or Highlife in 1970s Lagos.
This is a 'good cause' album, released through Oxfam, which might raise suspicions in those who have bought worthy but weak compilations in the past. DRC Music is nothing of the sort. The tracks all sound like genuine collaborations, the quality of the recordings is outstanding, and the music is brilliant. A number of tracks, particularly K-Town and Three Piece Sweet, would sound awesome in any club. They have succeeded in making an album that will not only appeal to afficionados of African music but which equally belongs in the Warp section of your local record shop, alongside the other outputs of the artists from that label who are involved. The appearance of Damon Albarn might alarm those who bought his rather forgettable Mali Music album, but here his contribution seems limited to backing vocals on a single track. There's no hint of cultural imperialism; this is a real meeting of musical styles, and it works.
In short, buy this, and let it be your introduction to one of the most thrilling musical movements in the world today.
on 7 December 2011
DRC music is a very interesting project and highly ambitious considering the 50+ artists on board. There are some glittering moments however not enough consistency to make this long player brilliant for the long run.
I've only listened to it twice so maybe i'm being a bit keen and perhaps have not chosen the right time of day or 'state of mind' to fully appreciate it yet. On fresh ears though, it's great to hear the contrast of electronics and native Congolese instrumentals mashed together, very interesting listening and rather bonkers too.
Try this in the car or outside, the results could be rather special!?
Well done to all the artists on this album, massive respect and a big thank you to all people affiliated to Warp, XL and Honest Jon' for putting together such a great project for such an important cause! Support this.
on 26 October 2013
With all the problems in the DRC- Democratic Republic of the Congo over the past years, we have missed out on hearing musicians/artists from the Congo. Damon Albarn first introduced us to a sample of the fabulous variety of music from Mali. On kinshasa one two, he is giving us a similar format, but from the DRC. Instead of sending tapes back and forth as he did with Mali Music, This CD was recorded in five days in KInshasa, the capital of the DRC. I look forward to hearing what damon is producing in 2013 in Bamako, mali with Brian Eno and others. his African Express tour brought together many great African musicians with a variety of western musicians. Damon has an incredible ability to bring together his style and morph it with African musicians, resulting in incredible music.