MbongWana Star albums
From Kinshasa – (4.5 / 5)
The music created by the ensemble Mbongwana Star on From Kinsasha is a joy to behold, not merely a highly danceable record but one that strikes emotional chords as well. Sung mostly in the native Congolese language, songs such as “Shegue” and “Masoblele” prove music’s universal appeal, the latter featuring a repetitive line that is impossible to get out of your head. While many artists from Michael Jackson to Talking Heads to Paul Simon sampled the sounds of Africa on their 80’s rock albums, it is refreshing to hear the opposite come true here; the sounds of modern Congo republic mixing with the digital language of the 2010’s.
“Malukayi” features one of Africa’s most popular bands of the decade Konono Number One on a tune that mixes multiple forms of percussive noises, and best of all is “Kala” a sort of tribal dance revolution that sounds like the wave of the future. As the album goes onward it picks up more and more of a percussive force, with “Suzanna” threating to fly off the rails and “Kimpala Pala” weaving mystical webs of emotion all over the place. Whether it’s a type of hymn to the universe or just a killer album full of groves, From Kinsasha is a revolutionary album of the 21st century.
Best songs: Kala, Masobele, Suzanna, Kimpala Pala