A wind of change is blowing over the cultural landscape of Kinshasa.
An amazing alternative scene is thriving that can’t just be defined or looked at with a western eye as “african music” and even less “world music”… it is explosive and vibrant. These sounds are emanating from the ghetto and downtown clubs in between the Governments imposed power cuts. The artists actually bring something alive, strong new ideas with DIY constructed instruments with a powerful and unique drive. This movement is more expressive, lively and direct compared to most big cities’ scenes, like NYC, London, Berlin… It’s raw and free like NYC in the 70’s and 80’s or Berlin in the 90’s, it’s inventing everything from nothing and it’s happening now.
La Belle Kinoise production have been working in Kinshasa with musicians since 2004. The KOKOKO! project was born from a change in mentality and a radicalisation of the people, which we’ve witnessed with our own eyes. With the constant degradation of quality of life, Kinshasa’s youth began to question the taboo of ‘respect for one’s elders’ – denouncing the state of a society paralysed by fear. This spirit of protest is something entirely new.
KOKOKO! is the soundtrack of Kinshasa’s tomorrow.
Recording, producing and artistic direction comes from prolific producer débruit, known and respected for his space/time bending work, fusing synthetic music with African and Arabic sounds. He helped craft the raw energy and abundance of ideas come alive into a record and live performance spectacle.
The project involves a group of musicians from the Ngwaka neighbourhood, a quite psychedelic electronic formation playing repetitive patterns crafted on self designed string instruments and other percussive inventions made from recycled scrap material. Makara Bianko, the young energetic singer creating a brutal hybrid of “coupé décalé” with a punk attitude he calls “Zagué” from the Lingwala neighbourhood where he plays 6nights a week with his dancers.
KOKOKO! is a coupling of two sonic worlds, in which every artist will benefit from the other.