Published Jul 04, 2019Fongola, by KOKOKO! is one of those things that makes you stand back and ask "Whoa, how did this happen?"
The answer is as simple and as complex as anything in this world, as the precarious craziness of the city of Kinshasa generates an energy of rebellion that crashes through the hard times of life in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fongola reimagines the lo-fi strangeness of mid-period Talking Heads, and the punk disco of ESG, and instead of lurking in the dark of ennui, explodes into a world of dance electronica and Afro-futurism.
KOKOKO!, as a collective, have taken the soundscapes and beats of French collaborator Debruit and moved on that cyclical journey of Fela with James Brown and the Wailers with '60s American R&B into the new millennium, making as fresh and primitive a noise as you could possibly imagine.
The vocals are chant-driven toasts and shouts roaring over the mashup of traditional instruments, found junk and greasy synth sounds scrounged from an environment where the only people who can afford sound gear are Evangelical pastors blasting dogma from every street corner.
This is DIY revolution groove and as such, is an inspiration to those who wish to express outside the norms. (Royal Mountain Records)