View Full Version : Congolese Music ?

Jim Daze
10-03-2005, 01:56 PM
Listening to Resonance this morning around 7'Oclock they were playing some awesome Congolese music, not sure from exactly which decade, poss late 60's early 70's judging by production. Anyway it is my new favourite sound and the best music to start the day with. I have only scant and obvious knowledge of African music in general (Sunny Ade, Fela, Mulatu Estatke etc) can anyone enlighten me on where to start with this Congalese stuff cos it's da shit !! ;)

Diggedy Derek
10-03-2005, 02:09 PM
Franco is fairly fantastic- the Congolese sorcerer of the guitar whose ruffneck rhumbas ran things from the early 60s onwards. You should be able to get quite a few compilations of his early work- they're brilliant.

11-03-2005, 07:35 AM
big boys:

rochereau/tabu ley
sam mangwana
clan langa langa/papa wemba

ray lema
souzy kasseya
kanda bongo man

don't ask me about anything from 1990 onwards (pleads ignorance)

11-03-2005, 08:02 AM
found this the other day (loads of great rocherau stuff) check the price tag, 3 squid!

11-03-2005, 08:28 AM
That'll be 'Nostalgie Ya Mboka' hosted by Vincent Luttman & Kofi Pami, top guys.
More info here website (http://www.aozj17.dsl.pipex.com/)

Mr. Tiger
11-03-2005, 03:58 PM
I was in Francophone central africa from '00 to '02 (Cameroon) and Congolese music was tops in the region. Mostly newer stuff, Koffi Olomide and (convicted people-smuggler!) Papa Wemba, though you'd also hear the older stuff, Franco, Rocherau, etc. blasting from bars pretty regularly. "Radio Trattoir" is my favorite Franco album, though he put out hundreds and I've only heard a fraction of 'em. "Mario" is maybe his best tune.

All the people/groups that Woebot mentions are great. One song I really loved, a hit in the '70s that I don't think has ever been reissued is "L'argent appelle l'argent" by one Pamelo Mouanka. A re-make by a Cameroonian was a big hit while I was there. The newer Congolese music is pretty great too, but has a very different feel than the '70s stuff. Faster paced, much harder rhythms.

Anyhoo...I've been checking this forum for ages, finally decided to join up. Always great stuff going on here!

12-03-2005, 04:40 AM
No discussion on this topic complete with mentioning the king of soukouss guitar, Diblo Dibala. I've seen him with a couple of groups, in a duo with Tony Remy, and solo - and he is unbelieveable. One of the real geniuses of African music, and you can hear him playing behind most of the soukouss greats at one point or another.

12-03-2005, 07:53 AM
i never heard any franco till yesterday when a track i had downloaded popped up on my ipod, 'cooperation,' it was amazing and gorgeous and i listened to it 5 times in a row.
i'm off to sterns todayfo more i think,any reccommendations.

Jim Daze
12-03-2005, 08:51 AM
Thanks guys, also, is that Sterns shop still where it used to be down the end of Totenham Crt Rd ?

12-03-2005, 03:13 PM
Thanks guys, also, is that Sterns shop still where it used to be down the end of Totenham Crt Rd ?

yep, their number one best seller at the mo is this : they had it on in the shop and it was dope, good place to start and good notes, wide range of african dance music.
http://www.sternsmusic.com/disk_info.php?id=27677 couldn't afford it tho cos i was single minded .
got this
http://www.sternsmusic.com/disk_info.php?id=RETRO2XCD cd of early franco, best to start at the beginning i think

12-03-2005, 03:44 PM
Late 2003 The Economist ran a great article on Congolese music, with plenty of historical context. online: http://www.economist.com/world/africa/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2281725

many sharp details. like:

"During the past five years of war, Congo's economy has collapsed, and the recording industry with it. As Kinshasa's studios began closing in the 1980s, pirated tapes and records flooded the market. In 1991, 1.5m pirated Congolese cassettes were seized in nearby Togo in a single bust. Now, with cassettes costing $4, and over 80% of Congolese living on less than $1 per day, even the market for pirates has dried up.

According to Gabriel Shabani, a former record producer, a hit album might sell 20,000 cassettes in Kinshasa, a city of 4m. Mr Shabani has closed his recording studio, and plans instead to sell Congolese music to the diaspora over the internet. "

Diggedy Derek
12-03-2005, 03:56 PM
That's mad economics. Maybe something will happen whereby if you bring your own cassette, they'll tape it for you. Crazy to think that some economies can't even sustain a cassette market.

That Franco album MMS linked to is one of the one's I liked a lot- great stuff I think.

20-03-2005, 09:29 PM
There's a forum at africaonline.com where Congolese folks living in Europe and America mostly chat about current Congolese rumba. They sneer at Diblo Dibala and anything that is Soukous-related. They believe such artists have gotten off-track and aren't properly incorporating striking vocals, horns, and rumba rhythms.

17-10-2005, 06:37 PM
This thread was brought to my attention. If you like Congolese music, you might like to visit the resources at Ya Congo (http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/yacongo/portal.html)

17-10-2005, 07:40 PM
Re-reading this thread, I should tell you people NOW that there should be a repeat of last Saturday's Nostalgie Ya Mboka (http://www.aozj17.dsl.pipex.com/) this Thursday (7-8 am, UK time) on Resonancefm (http://www.resonancefm.com/) and it will feature lots of FRANCO music because it is just over 16 years since his death - 12 October 1989.