Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Orchestre Tout Puissant Likembé Konono Nº1
"Mungua-Muanga"

The African band Konono Nº1 take homemade instruments to a whole new level. They play likembés (thumb pianos) of differing sizes that are amplified with pickups and speakers made from car parts and other scrap metal. They play them extremely loud, which intensifies the sound with distortion. Or so I've read; they have yet to make it to my town. :-(

Konono Nº1 made a big splash back in 2004 with the release of their second album (and first studio recording), Congotronics. They'd actually been around since the 1960s, however! They originally went by the somewhat unwieldy moniker Orchestre Tout Puissant Likembé Konono Nº1 (Mighty Likembé Orchestra Konono Nº1).

Today's piece is a recording from 1978, under that original, lengthy name, from a compilation of urban bands from Kinshasa, Zaïre. They sounded pretty much the same then as they do now, the only difference being a lack of bass; I think that was a limitation of the original recording, however, as it was made on cassette.

1 biased opinion:

Biki said...

oh me likey! makes me wanna get up and shake it!