Konono No 1

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OK, Mojo has this band featured this month, from Kinshasa, and saying that it's the missing link between world music and the Velvets/Can/Punk/etc.

Naturally, the band are all 75 years old and none have heared any of the bands they are supposedly 'influenced' by.

Any more info, any you guys?

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 10:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

There's a website...


Ned T.Rifle (nedtrifle), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 10:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Check out the video if you need convincing.
The second of the Congotronics series is also stunning.

Rombald, Tuesday, 3 January 2006 10:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Also - if you're lucky enough to live in the States - you can d/l the whole album for a couple of dollars on eMusic.

Ned T.Rifle (nedtrifle), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 10:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Just found the link to LUFUALA NDONGA by them.


mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 10:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Ha! Just downloaded that track of iTunes. It's terrific. And my 4 year old daughter just told me to put it on again - "that one that goes ding ding ding...ding ding ding..."

Ned T.Rifle (nedtrifle), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 10:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

we've had a 250+ post thread on these guys!

Konono No1 - "Tradi-Modern" - This shit is unreal

get congotronics, it's hot.

waldo jeffers scenario (haitch), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 11:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Jeez...2003! I feel sooooo out of it.
Maybe if I pay attention to what people are talking about now I might get round to hearing them by 2008...

Ned T.Rifle (nedtrifle), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 11:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Don't feel bad. Somewhere I heard something to the effect that Kinshasa is SO over these guys. Like it's their parents' shtick or something. (Hope I didn't read that on the other thread.)

Mitya (mitya), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 23:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

there iz a new live in holland CD we're carrying at work, but i haven't listened to it yet. maybe tomorrow. i will report back.

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 02:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

for what it's worth, here's my take on the Congotronics record, from Nashville Scene:

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Wednesday, 4 January 2006 02:26 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It just arrived. I'm digging it!

mark grout (mark grout), Friday, 13 January 2006 10:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

turn it uuuuuuuuuuuuuuup

sean gramophone (Sean M), Friday, 13 January 2006 10:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Super-distorted, jerry-rigged thumb piano = the instrument of the aughties.

Anyone else think this sometimes sounds like "Turn On Your Love Light"-era Grateful Dead?

Vornado, Friday, 13 January 2006 14:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The immedately these guys scraped two pennies together, they immediately bought real instruments, so don't get too excited.

Ian Christe (Ian Christe), Friday, 13 January 2006 20:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the live record that ian references upthread is rad.

chocolate orgone accumulator (haitch), Saturday, 14 January 2006 08:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
were on kershaw at the weekend and sounded good. the mentions on that other thread (african musik: suggestions?) were 50/50 love/hate so interesting to hear them for myself.


koogs (koogs), Monday, 10 April 2006 07:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Me on them live in London last week:


Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Monday, 10 April 2006 09:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
I saw them live tonight in...(ahem) Cleveland, and they totally kicked the ass out of my expectations. They were totally on-point, rockin, going with the flow and improvising but always coming back to the same theme, dancing, making jokes. The really senior guy even got into it and started moving around more towards the end.

Go see them if you can. Totally worth it, if only to dance.

trees (treesessplode), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 05:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The really senior guy even got into it and started moving around more towards the end.


when I saw them, that guy was motionless and seemingly deathly serious.

aaron d.g. (aaron d.g.), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 05:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Dude was SMILING during the last part of the set, shuffling his feet a little. After the show he just stood in the hall between the stage and the bar, grinning and talking in French with the lead male vocalist.

trees (treesessplode), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 13:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

aces if you get a chance see them live...they played here in toronto over the weekend and did crazy extended versions of their songs..actually maybe they only played 4 songs over the hour and a half!

Gary Abugan (henry chinaski), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 16:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

eh, to me it just sounds like the greatful dead if they played thumb pianos and kettle drums

max (maxreax), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 16:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

your loss

they are playing at Summerstage in a couple weeks, I'm psyched

dmr (Renard), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 16:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

oops you were joking, I hadn't seen that other thred title

still psyched!

dmr (Renard), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 16:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

they are a pleasant surprise live

everyone go if you can

mark p (Mark P), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 19:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

theres something i dont like about how the congotronics albums sound. maybe its cos theyre recorded straight onto a G4 or something but they sound a bit thin, slightly lacking in body.

titchyschneiderMk2, Tuesday, 2 October 2007 22:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

They absolutely smashed it when I saw them in the summer

DJ Mencap, Tuesday, 2 October 2007 22:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

new cd out soon (or now?)

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 3 October 2007 15:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

There is a "new" live album, but I'm not sure if it is a new live album or just a new reissue of the last live album.

Alex in SF, Wednesday, 3 October 2007 16:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Live at Coleur Cafe came out on Crammed Discs this year. According to the Allmusic Guide it's a live in Belgium cd. It appears to be different than previous releases. Afropop.org says Konono will have a new studio cd in 2008.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 4 October 2007 03:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink


W4LTER, Thursday, 4 October 2007 03:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Interesting and occasionally sad cover story on them in the Wire. The author went to the Congo and spent time with them there as well with their producer. The article ambitiously covers life in wartime Congo, musical issues regarding purism/exoticism/ what the kids want/producers imposing their vision, and more. He also saw rumba star Koffi Olimide there and contrast the 2. As someone who has seen Koffi on tour here and follows Congolese rumba performers (he calls him soukous but I do not think the Congolese use that term anymore)I found that portion a bit simplistic but it may not be that way for others.

Plus new cd coming as well as a box set.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 2 May 2010 15:28 (nine years ago) Permalink


Konono No 1 Vinyl LP: Congotronics
- Congotronics 2 /"Buzz'n'Rumble From The Urb'n'Jungle" Vinyl LP (feat. five different Kinshasa bands)
- Kasai Allstars Vinyl LP: In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish And Ate The Head Of His Enemy By Magic
- Staff Benda Bilili Vinyl LP: Très Très Fort
- the brand-new Konono No 1 double vinyl LP: Assume Crash Position
- a Congotronics book with exclusive photos from Kinshasa, Congo.
- a customized, re-usable 2Gb USB pen drive containing 9 videos, and mp3s (in 320 kbps) of all 5 albums.
- 7" vinyl with two exclusive tracks by Kasai Allstars, one of them featuring a collaboration with Akron/Family!

scott seward, Sunday, 2 May 2010 15:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

Looks like $$$ but I am interested.

Trip Maker, Sunday, 2 May 2010 15:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

one of the illest live show i've ever seen. unbelievable escalating energy. blissful and transcendent.

"missing link between world music and the Velvets/Can"

no. the relationship of this music to the Velvets/Can is that of Parent and Child. Hulger Czukay was immensely influenced by African music, and the Velvets took cues from the likes of Steve Reich, whose work was also largely derivative of African rhythms.

zoom, Monday, 3 May 2010 10:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

one year passes...


nice collaboration from 2010 I somehow missed.

curmudgeon, Friday, 8 July 2011 18:34 (seven years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

I just watched Félicité (2017) a few nights ago. Excellent film which features a lot of Kasai Allstars music
to great effect.

nicky lo-fi, Friday, 16 November 2018 17:27 (six months ago) Permalink

JUst listening to this stuff on Nyege Nyege tapes when I saw this thread and thought the sound pretty much crossed over
relentlessly p[ercussive tribal African meets electronica stuff I just discovered cos of an article on a festival the record label held in September.

Stevolende, Friday, 16 November 2018 18:24 (six months ago) Permalink

^^ purchased

Uhura Mazda (lukas), Friday, 16 November 2018 18:52 (six months ago) Permalink

Cool, just been listening through various of the acts on the label thanks to the feature here
and the initial article which was in the latest Wire.

Stevolende, Friday, 16 November 2018 19:00 (six months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Saw this great documentary about the making of the first Staff Benda Bilili album.
Most of the band members are paraplegic due to childhood polio. The shelter for the disabled
burned down during the first attempt at recording them and that delayed things for over
a year. God bless the French dudes who kept on until it was done.

One amazing thing to see is the transformation of a little street kid, playing a one string homemade
instrument, that the band took under it's wing.

Watch them go from practicing on the grounds at the Kinshasa zoo, to touring Europe and Japan.


nicky lo-fi, Thursday, 10 January 2019 14:19 (five months ago) Permalink

Worth watching

curmudgeon, Friday, 11 January 2019 19:14 (five months ago) Permalink

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