Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Recording: Mbongwana Star

Artist: Mbongwana Star

Songs: Malukayi + unknown*

Recorded at The Great Hall, July 19, 2017.

Mbongwana Star - Malukayi

Mbongwana Star - unknown

This Congolese crew has been busily circling the world ever since creating a sensation with their debut album From Kinshasa a couple years back — so if they were a bit weary with their material by the time they touched down in T.O, there was certainly no sign of it. Part of it might be down to the fact that on stage this is a somewhat different beast than the post-punk tinged sound on their album, coming out instead like a supercharged soukous party. Live, the guitar had some of that Konono Nº1-esque electric likembé sound, but was also just as likely to grab from a nimble bag of tricks (including bringing new levels of coolness to some tones last heard on hair-metal albums). The real focus was vocalists Coco Ngabali and Theo Nzonza (formerly of Staff Benda Bilili), who never stopped dancing and whipping up the crowd. As things got heated up, there were several show-stoppers in a row, with the band barely pausing for breath before attempting to top themselves — a well-tuned groove machine indeed.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

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