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Tres Tres Fort CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Mar. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Crammed Discs
  • ASIN: B001P9277O
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,911 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Staff Benda Bilili, who've been acclaimed by the likes of Africa Express and Damon Albarn are the latest phenomenon to come out of the Congo. Staff Benda Bilili, who've been acclaimed by the likes of Africa Express and Damon Albarn are the latest phenomenon to come out of the Congo. A group of paraplegic street musicians who live in and around the grounds of the zoo in Kinshasa, they make music of astonishing power and beauty. The band's mesmerising grooves, overlaid with vibrant vocals , mix 70s funk, old Cuban son and mambo with the mellifluous flow of classic Congolese rumba that evoke the golden age of Franco. Four veteran singer/guitarists sitting on spectacularly customized tricycles are the core of the band, backed by a younger, all-acoustic, rhythm section pounding out tight beats. Over the top of this are weird, infectious guitar-like solos performed by a 17 year-old prodigy on a one-string electric lute he designed and built himself out of a tin can. Staff Benda Bilili were introduced to the British and US musicians who visited Kinshasa as part of the Africa Express trip in Nov 2007, and won the admiration and hearts of the likes of Massive Attack and Damon Albarn. 'That was beautiful,' said [Massive Attack's] Robert del Naja, visibly moved. 'It was worth coming all this way just to hear that'.

BBC Review

The explosive debut album from Staff Benda Bilili is perhaps an example of African street music at its finest. The sound is a curious mix of Afro- Rumba, Latin Rhythms and rich vocal harmonies. Each track is diverse, vibrant and wholly unique yet the album retains a uniformity of sound and style that is both interesting and infectious.

Staff Benda Bilili hail from the streets of Kinshasa. A group of disabled musicians form the core of the band. Backed by a younger, acoustic rhythm section and a hand made, electric one string lute called the Satonge. The sound of which is slightly comedic at points yet never over bearing.

Whilst their sound is unlike any thing else, there is a familiar rough authenticity in the rhythm and lyrics, comparable in style at points to Buena Vista Social club and at others Fela Kuti. The age and experience of the older musicians is prevalent throughout, evident in the steadiness and timing that gives the music so much of its character.

The craftsmanship of this album is remarkable. The diversity of styles is a testament to the musicianship to the group. From the Afro-Cuban Polio to the hard-edged African beats of Avramandole. The production itself was recorded outside, giving the album the feel of a live session.

Staff Benda Bilili roughly translates as 'Look Beyond Appearances'. Their music is a testament to that, in its ability to be so many things at the same time. This is a remarkable debut that will no doubt earn Staff Benda Bilili much deserved attention and respect. --Johnny Lais

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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.

Global SoulJah
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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By Henk Beentje TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Jan. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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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.
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Vibrant African sounds, lovely rhythyms, catchy tunes, worthy cause as the artists are all disabled. The single string lute playing is the high note!
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Fantastic sound, i felt transported to outside Kinshasa Zoo where this was recorded. What amazed me was the sound fromn the one string lute made from a tin can. Strongly recomended.
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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.
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The music stands on its own but watching the movie adds more. The monochord player, Roger, is for me the star in a band of allstars. Beautiful inspirational music that goes straight to the heart. Buy it and support these wonderful people.
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