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Zongo Junction: No Discount

It's not surprising to see free jazz credited alongside Fela Kuti as one of the group's inspirations.
Zongo Junction
No Discount
Electric Cowbell
2014-07-05

Zongo Junction, a multitudinous Afrobeat collective based in Brooklyn, sounds better on this LP than it did on its debut EP in 2010. Melanie Charles’ voice made them more Kuti, but removing the singing has made them more them. Words were distracting. Now the listener can concentrate on the patterns of instrumental texture as they’re being built up and demolished. On the inside of the cover they tell you the album is “Made for dancing. Please enjoy,” but there’s something more conceptual going on as well, you realise, when you hear the musicians spaghetti-ing at the start of “Invented Search” — doing what? — searching — what can instruments search for? — a tune — but they’re in a tune. What else could they possibly be in? It’s not surprising to see free jazz credited alongside Fela as one of the group’s inspirations.

RATING 7 / 10
PopMatters