If you were in any doubt as to whether Kinshasa is still a hotbed of inventive new music, look no further than Mbongwana Star. A recently formed seven-piece from the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they’ve emerged from the ruins of the brilliant group Staff Benda Bilili with a sound that is as thrilling as it is unique.
To update the intense, clattering sound of their previous band, Coco Ngambali and Theo Nzonza looked to producers such as Ireland’s Doctor L to provide a mix of hip-hop and electronic influences. The result retains the ramshackle punk charm that came from Staff Benda Bilili’s use of recycled materials for instruments, but decorates it with modern production techniques.
Malukayi, which features the Kinshasa group Konono No 1, is a perfect example of their infectious jumble of influences, ones not held back by geographical or genre boundaries. Listen to the album using the player below and let us know your thoughts.