Congotronics 2 Buzz ‘N Rumble From the Urb’n Jungle - Various Artists

Crammed Discs

Africa has been called the ‘dark continent’ but as Sir Bob Geldof put it recently, “it’s not a dark continent at all. It’s the luminous continent … drenched in sun, pounded by heat and brilliant in the resourcefulness of its people.” Congotronics 2 is a case in point. Using scrapped amplifiers, speakers, home made instruments and lots of imagination; street bands in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa, are carving out a whole new kind of music. It’s as raw and revolutionary as it is steeped in tradition. Arguably, the most popular of these bands is Konono Number One who mix electrified thumb pianos, buzzing drums and balafons with hub caps and whistles … creating one, big, distorted, swirling groove. The giant megaphones used as speakers by bands like Konono Number One are known as ‘lance-voix’ or ‘voice-throwers’. They’re left-overs from the Belgian colonization of the Congo and were originally used to blast radio broadcasts into the streets. Congotronics 2 gives you not only an audio overview of the scene, it’s loaded with great video footage as well. This is a cutting-edge collection of new ‘punk’ music from Africa’s urban jungle.