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DIY Electronic Music, with KOKOKO!

An insane Kinshasa-bred Qobuzissime made of cans, typewriters and a TR-808!

Door Smaël Bouaici | Video van de dag | 6 juli 2019

After two EPs and a breakthrough European tour, the Kinshasa combo now face their biggest challenge yet: a full-length album. KOKOKO! consists of two DIY musicians (with instruments made from cans, typewriters and junkyard scrap), the vocalist Makara Bianco also known as the Lingwara Devil, as well as French producer Xavier Thomas, a.k.a Débruit (author of the mini-hit Nigeria What?) who was immediately attracted by their “experimental side”.

He says, “It’s not your stereotypical African music. They want to break with the past and the traditional Congolese rumba. There are no limits, they’re not afraid of anything”. It’s this freedom and creativity born from constraint that can be heard in Fongola, with its sonic collision of polyrhythms, Western harmonies, guitars and mbiras, jerry cans and a TR-808.

The formula is designed for live performances, but it is just as effective here: street samples, 4/4 techno beats, catchy lyrics and earthshaking bass lines make for an entrancing combination.

The album was recorded in makeshift studios in Kinshasa and Brussels and was then put together in Anderlecht by Débruit, who describes it as “a giant electronic puzzle with no blueprint and pieces that don’t fit”. He couldn’t have put it any better - by combining so many sounds and letting them collide, KOKOKO! have achieved a state of permanent chaos. And that’s exactly what makes this project so exciting.


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