In the 7th Moon, the Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy by Magic
US: 15 Jul 2008
In the age of the nanosecond soundbite, you have to admire an album with no less than twenty-six syllables in its title; after listening to the antediluvian drone-funk within, you’ll be hard pushed to mumble any of them. Wielding instruments “far easier to find.. in the museums of the northern hemisphere than in the Congolese cities or countryside”, Kasai Allstars chart a relentless course to glassy-eyed trancedom, shaking a headfeather at centuries of colonial and religious censure and ultimately leaving you wondering what day it is, never mind what track you’re listening to. It begins with the liquefied flub of ancient percussion, burbling away under spasms of aggravated thumb piano, a wasps’ nest wrestling with a Gatling gun. Rhythmic and harmonic tropes circle each other intently, endlessly, as voices intone in tandem and guitars spill flinty cataracts. In their multi-ethnic make-up, the face-painted, twenty-something strong Allstars chant a slightly more devolved game than fellow marimba manglers Konono No.1, but the cumulative effect is similar, a sustained concussion of sound, a kind of sonic vertigo that subverts the cliché of Congo as perpetual victim.
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// Sound Affects
"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.READ the article