Release Date: Feb 21, 2006
Record label: Crammed Discs
The second disc in the Crammed label's Congotronics series improves on the first one in two ways: first, by presenting a variety of bands, each of which blends urban and rural Congolese music styles in a slightly different way; and second, by adding to the package a 41-minute DVD that shows six of the featured bands during their recording sessions. Many of the groups featured here make use of the same drenchingly overamplified likembés (or thumb pianos) that are favored by Konono No. 1, but instrumentations vary: Basokin, an ensemble that hails from the Songye region of Congo, is comprised of three singers, three percussionists, and two guitarists; Bolia We Ndenge is a percussion-heavy group, but its sound is centered on the accordion; Masanki Sankayi is led by a preacher and storyteller.
Good news, people - there's more where Konono No. 1 come from, and Crammed Discs knows where to find it. This compilation goes for breadth where Konono’s Congotronics went for depth. It introduces seven groups that are often quite different Konono (whose album-finishing track from a Belgian festival gig is the only tune here not recorded on location in Kinshasa), but share three essential qualities.