H ere, at last, is the second international release from an exhilarating Kinshasa veteran. Jupiter Bokondji is remarkable both for the sense of danger and urgency he puts into in his music, and for the way he matches an extraordinary variety of Congolese rhythms and languages against western influences in a band dominated by percussion, bass and electric guitars. He deserves to be an African celebrity, but his sporadic output has not made that easy.
"Jupiter" Bokondji grew up partly in east Berlin, where his father was an attache at the Congolese embassy, making soul music his first passion; the discovery of Congo's rich heritage of rumba and soukous came later. The exuberance of 70s soul is in the mix on this arresting second album, along with edgy funk and the stuttering rhythms of modern Kinshasa. On high-energy pieces such as Ofakombolo, Jupiter declaims furiously, though he can also croon in the airy style of rumba stars like Tabu Ley Rochereau.