Fusicology News

New Release: Congotronics Series Returns! Kasai Allstars “Beware The Fetish”

on May 8, 2014with 0 comments

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Crammed Discs Set To Release New Album from Kasai Allstars on June 24, 2014 
Beware The Fetish’ Is 5th Album In Acclaimed Congotronics Series - African Collective’s First Album in Six Years

2 CD Set is 100 Minutes of Wild, Trance-Inducing Raw Intensity

 

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‘Beware The Fetish’ is the long-awaited second album by the mindblowing, Kinshasa-based musicians’ collective, whose debut album “In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish And Ate The Head Of His Enemy By Magic” made a lasting impact on the imagination of artists and music lovers worldwide

 

This double-CD contains 12 tracks, clocking in at over 100 minutes: Kasai Allstars otherworldly music requires no less than complete and lengthy immersion! It is not advised to try and listen to this record as background music (especially on tiny computer speakers).

 

As the band’s aficionados already know, the core of Kasai Allstars consists of fifteen musicians from five bands, all from the Kasai region, but originating from five different ethnic groups, whose relationships have often been conflictual in the past. They each have their own culture, language and musical traditions, which were always thought to be incompatible until these musicians decide to transcend their differences and work together. Kasai Allstars draw their songs from festive/ritual music which used to be played in the bush before being banned, because of the allegedly scandalous aspects of the erotic dances and the re-enacted pagan trance rituals, which were viewed as being unholy, even satanic.

 

“Beware The Fetish” presents a broader scope of Kasai Allstars’ music, probing deeper into the musicians’ repertoires and styles, with the help of a large array of guests. The band use their trademark mixture of traditional instruments (slit & buzz drums, xylophones), electric guitars, and distorted thumb pianos with DIY amplification (such as the giant bass likembe which adorns the cover). Some songs showcase rocking & intertwining guitars, some others include a higher proportion of acoustic percussion or likembes, and they all feature arresting vocal performances by a cast of charismatic singers including Kabongo, Muambuyi, Tshimanga, Mi Amor, Tandjolo, Grand Prêtre, and the late, lamented Mbuyamba Nyunyi. The lyrics of the songs tackle matters such as sorcery, social commentary and traditional wisdom.

 

Admiration for Kasai Allstars and Konono No.1 has been widespread among Western indie rock and electronic musicians (not forgetting hip hop figures such as Saul Williams and ?uestlove). This led to the Congotronics tribute album “Tradi-Mods vs Rockers” (2010), in which the likes of Animal Collective, Juana Molina, Shackleton, Deerhoof, Aksak Maboul and others presented covers and reworks of Kasai Allstars’ music.

 

Just like all other albums in the Congotronics series, Beware The Fetish was produced, recorded & mixed by Vincent Kenis.

 

The album also comes out as a limited–edition, single vinyl LP, comprising 6 of the CD/digital tracks, plus one vinyl-only exclusive track, and a download code for the full 12-track version

This album is dedicated to the memory of Mbuyamba Nyunyi Elias.

 

Singer and dancer extraordinaire, poet, composer, Mbuyamba Nyunyi (“the Bird”) (1948-2011) moved from his native Kasai to Kinshasa in the late 60s to lead Orchestre Sankayi, which later merged with Kabongo’s Orchestre Masanka to create Masanka Sankayi, which was to become the most famous exponent of tradi-modern music from Eastern Kasai. He also conceived and built many electric thumb pianos of all sizes, each new model being for him the occasion to re-invent his music. On track B1, recorded  shortly before his unexpected death, Mbuyamba plays a bass likembe he built himself, which is seen on the album cover. Mbuyamba was one of the key figures in the Kasai Allstars collective. His presence is deeply missed.

 

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Track listing 2CD

CD A

1. THE CHIEF’S ENTHRONEMENT / OYAYE

2. YANGYE, THE EVIL LEOPARD

  1. SALUTE TO KALOMBO

4. DOWN AND OUT

5. HE WHO MAKES BUSH FIRES FOR OTHERS

6. AS THEY WALKED INTO THE FOREST ON A SUNDAY,

THEY ENCOUNTERED APES DRESSED AS HUMANS

 

CD B

1. THUS SPOKE THE ANCESTORS

2. BEWARE THE FETISH

3. A GOOD HUSBAND

4. IN PRAISE OF HOMEBOYS

5. THE DEAD DON’T DANCE

6. THE PLOUGHMAN (Le Laboureur)

 

 

Track listing LP

Side A:

1. THE CHIEF’S ENTHRONEMENT / OYAYE

2. YANGYE, THE EVIL LEOPARD

  1. SALUTE TO KALOMBO

4. AS THEY WALKED INTO THE FOREST ON A SUNDAY,

THEY ENCOUNTERED APES DRESSED AS HUMANS

 

Side B:

1. SINGING IS CRYING (exclusive vinyl-only bonus)

2. HE WHO MAKES BUSH FIRES FOR OTHERS

3. THE PLOUGHMAN (Le Laboureur)

 

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