Control x Outernational: Konono No. 1 (Congo)
▼▼▼ Konono n°1 ▼▼▼
(Crammed Discs, Kinshasa, Congo)
A very special joint of Control x Outernational: the legendary Congolese band Konono n°1 plays for the first time in Romania, on December 10!
The band was founded back in the 1960s by Mingiedi Mawangu, a virtuoso of the likembé (a traditional instrument sometimes called “sanza” or “thumb piano”, consisting of metal rods attached to a resonator). By experimenting with magnets salvaged from old car parts, Mingiedi invented and gradually improved his own electrified likembe, which he plugged into a guitar amplifier. The band’s line-up includes two or three electric likembés (bass, medium and treble), a rhythm section which uses traditional as well as makeshift percussion (pans, pots and car parts), singers, dancers and a sound system featuring these famous megaphones.
The musicians come from an area which sits right across the border between Congo and Angola. Their repertoire draws largely on Bazombo trance music, but they’ve had to incorporate the originally-unwanted distorsions of their sound system. This has made them develop a unique style which, from a sonic viewpoint, has accidentally connected them with the aesthetics of the most experimental forms of rock and electronic music, as much through their sounds than through their sheer volume (they play in front of a wall of speakers) and their merciless grooves.