Album: DRC Music, Kinshasa One Two (Warp)


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The Independent Culture

For his latest expedition into Africa, Damon Albarn took along a posse of Anglo-American producers – including Jneiro Jarel and Remi Kabaka – to Kinshasa to work on five days' recordings with local Congolese bands like Tout Puissant Mukalo and Bokatola System, collaborating on the hoof, as it were.

The results are as entertainingly varied as the participants, ranging from the burly Afro party-funk of "K-Town" to the sci-fi electro crossovers of "Customs" and "Hallo" – the latter featuring Albarn and Nelly Liyemge duetting on a theme of connection – to less easily definable blends of mbira thumb-piano, synthesiser noise, found-sounds and spindly, cyclical guitar lines. The sole constant is the skeletal, staccato patter of peppery percussion throbbing beneath each track, the everpresent heartbeat of a project in aid of Oxfam.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Hallo; Lingala; We Come from the Forest; K-Town