This live disc captures the raw energy of Konono far better than the studio recording Congotronics. Recorded during Konono's tour with Dutch punk band The Ex.
"Konono No.1 from Kinshasa, Congo, was founded more than 25 years ago by likembe (thumb-piano) virtuoso Mingiedi Mawangu. The band was one of the first groups to use electric amplified likembes.
They build everything themselves. The pick-ups are made from hammered bits of car starter-motors, handwound with copper-wire, they made wooden microphones and jack-plugs from bits of copper-wire and branches. With a 25 watts amplifier on a car battery and the typical "lance voix" field speakers they play fast, powerful, distorted music with the energy and rawness of a punkband.
Konono No.1 plays music based on the tradition of the Bazombe, a tribe living on the border of Angola and Congo. Their style is also the basis of modern Congolese music like Zaiko Langa Langa. They have three likembes; solo, accompaniment and bass, three drummers; congas (ngoma), cowbells and a kind of hi-hat from metal plates, two singers, three women dancers and the mysteriously moving "president". It is a rough type of Congolese urban music. The lyrics give bitter comment on the social situation in the Congo.
Tony van der Eecken, a Belgian Congo music specialist, phoned us up one day to offer this Congolese band Konono to play on a tour with the Ex. He thought Konono would fit better for our audience than in the regular "world-music" circuit. We didn't know, we believed him and he was right! It was their first ever visit to the West, VERA their first ever gig in a rock club. The audience was flabbergasted, what power, sound and energy. And what volume!
This CD is a tribute to Konono No.1, to that first ever gig in Holland. It's a rough recording, directly stereo recorded from the mixer. But the music speaks for itself. PLAY LOUD!"-Terrie Ex
Related Categories of Interest:
Cultural Musics from Around the World
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