[ | | | 3 interested person(s) ]

I was wandering pointlessly through cyberspace when I stumbled on this band dubbed Konono N°1. After hearing a couple tracks it quickly became my newest iPod addition. I am definitely not the first to hear of this band, they have been highly reviewed by NY Times, Pitchfork, and BBC. I am simply amazed at the equipment they use to make music and the sound that eminates from this crazy mish-mash of what I can only call stuff. The record is nominated as the best "newcomer" for world music by the BBC. Here is what the Crammed discs website says about them:

"KONONO N°1 was founded over 25 years ago by Mingiedi, a virtuoso of the likembe (a traditional instrument sometimes called "sanza" or "thumb piano", consisting of metal rods attached to a resonator). The band's line-up includes three electric likembes (bass, medium and treble), equipped with hand-made microphones built from magnets salvaged from old car parts, and plugged into amplifiers. There's also a rhythm section which uses traditional as well as makeshift percussion (pans, pots and car parts), three singers, three dancers and a sound system featuring these famous megaphones."

The band is from Kinshasa, Congo. Kinshasa has approximately 7.5 million people and is the second largest city in sub-Saharan Africa. What is also incredible is that Mingiedi is a truck driver and in his 70s (he formed the band in 1980). The rythms and beats of this album are mezmerizing and the intensity of the tracks is unbelievable. I am no connoisseur of world music but this disc is really fantastic. The musical prowess of these men is awesome as they transform what some would consider trash into music instraments then pump out some serious electonic beats. Another interesting review is offered by Stylus magazine [here].

Mp3: Konono N°1 - T.P. Couleur Cafe (via Some Velvet Blog off of Congotronics 2)
Mp3: Konono N°1 - Ditshe Tshiekutala (via Said the Gramophone)
Mp3: Konono N°1 - Mungua-Mungua (via TSAKU)
Mp3: Konono N°1 Video (quicktime)

Buy it. It is so worth it.

3 interested person(s)

JT said... @ 1/05/2006 06:12:00 PM

I cannot get over these guys. Posted them a while ago. Still damn good on the ears. Imagine how the music landscape would be if a lot more bands were as imaginative and innovative with their resources.

K. said... @ 1/05/2006 08:44:00 PM

No doubt. They are amazing. Its also remarkable that I can hear a group of fellas jamming out crazy beats from the Congo here in Vermont. Incredible.

Anonymous said... @ 8/03/2006 05:15:00 AM

Crammed Disc Konono release is pretty OK, but NOT their first release [as falsely claimed on Crammed Disc site]. Dutch-based Terp records released a live CD, recorded when they toured with The Ex early 2003, which really captures the raw intensity of this unique group's sound.

Recorded live at Vera, Groningen 5th February 2003

Details and mp3 clip here...

Buy online here...

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