DRC Music – Kinshasa One Two (Album Preview)

In case you have had your head buried in the ground for the past month, and because I couldn’t possibly provide a more concise introduction, this is taken straight from the DRC Music website
”A collective of producers gathered by Damon Albarn recently visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to produce a new album for Oxfam. T-E-E-D (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs), Dan The Automator, Jneiro Jarel, Richard Russell, Actress, Marc Antoine, Alwest, Rodaidh McDonald and Kwes all made the trip with the plan – to make an album in 5 days.” 

The progress up to this point has been tracked via Tumblr, with photos and sound clips providing ‘fans’ with constant progress updates. The latest piece of news comes in the form of definitive artwork, release dates, as well as 3 tracks from the album and a trailer for the LP. My personal highlight in this particular short is at around two minutes in, where Damon Albarn seems to be having an enormous moment of realisation – or just plain pleasure – whilst a local guy is laying down a vocal …Magic).

The first track of the 3 in particular, after just one or two listens, is huge. The vibe throughout seems to owe as much to current dub-step and digital reggae as the environment where it was born, but there is obviously a strong African flavour to all elements of the song – the incessant chanting of the word ‘Hallo’ (the title of the track) is a perfect example of this. However you are almost instantly reminded of both the backgrounds of the modern producers selected to be involved in the project, and their ability to integrate both cultures, with the introduction of the bass line and female vocal simultaneously. There is also something quite comforting about the familiarity of Damon Albarn’s voice throughout, a testament to his influence on the whole project. A surefire hit.
Certainly the most impressive thing about the tracks released so far is the way the styles are so seamlessly blended with each other, and in a much more modern and electronic manner than I had personally anticipated. However this is definitely a positive turn of event It could have been so easy to record the local musicians doing what they are used to and be happy with merely manipulating the sound.

Kinshasa One Two:
1. Hallo featuring Tout Puissant Mukalo and Nelly Liyemge – listen now
2. K-Town featuring N’Gotshima and Bebson
3. African Space Anthem (A.S.A) featuring Ewing Sima of Tout Puissant Mukalo
4. Love featuring Love
5. Lingala featuring Bokatola System and Evala Litongo – listen now
6. Lourds featuring Yende Bongongo of Okwess International
7. Respect Of The Rules featuring Loi X Liberal
8. We Come From The Forest featuring Bokatola System
9. Customs featuring Bokatola System
10. Virginia featuring Magakala Virginia Yollande and Yowa Hollande
11. Ah Congo featuring Jupiter Bokondji and Bokatola System – listen now
12. Three Piece Sweet part 1 & 2 featuring Bebson
13. If You Wish to Stay Awake featuring Washiba
14. Departure featuring Bokatola System


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