Album review: Jupiter & Okwess International, Hotel Univers (Out Here)


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The Independent Culture

Jupiter Bokondji is best known to British ears as one of Damon Albarn's collaborators in DRC Music. Here, his group Okwess International cooks up feverish, writhing polyrhythms as Jupiter addresses local social and spiritual concerns from his home in Kinshasa.

"Bapasi" – a local rallying-cry – opens the album like a cross between Fela Kuti's Afrobeat and the Latino-rock of early Santana. Thereafter, the momentum never lets up, from the itchy guitar lines and layered vocals on "Yaka", to the Kasai trance music, which forms the core of "Bakwapanu".

Download: Bapasi; Congo; Margerita; Yaka