WONDERFUL live show coming up in just 2 short weeks . . . Get your tix now!
Konono N°1 (from Congo)
Sunday May 6, 2007
The Middle East Upstairs
Music at http://konono.calabashmusic.com/
Come on out and dance! They played Somerville Theater last year, but
there was no room to dance. Now, at the Middle East, there is no excuse.
See you there!
Konono N°1 is a musical group from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the
Congo. They combine three electric likembé (a traditional instrument
similar to the mbira) with voices, dancers, and percussion instruments
that are made out of items salvaged from a junkyard. The group's
amplification equipment is equally rudimentary, including a microphone
carved out of wood fitted with a magnet from an automobile alternator
and a gigantic horn-shaped amplifier. The group achieved international
renown beginning in 2005, with its DIY aesthetic appealing to many fans
of rock and electronic music.
The group's full name, as seen on the banner in its music video, is
L'orchestre folklorique T.P. Konono N°1 de Mingiedi"; "T.P." (short for
tout puissant, or "all powerful") is an homage to the band of the
legendary Congolese musician Franco, which was called T.P. OK Jazz. It
was formed by Mawangu Mingiedi, a likembé player and truck driver now in
his 70s. Mingiedi is a member of the Zombo (or Bazombo) ethnic group,
whose homeland is located near the border with Angola. He adapted for
his likembé ensemble Zombo ritual music that was originally played by an
ensemble of horns made from elephant tusks.
Dates for the group's formation vary: Crammed Discs, who released Konono
N°1's Congotronics album in 2005, places the group's formation around
1980. However, the group was in existence at least as early as 1978; in
November 1978, an ensemble called Orchestre Tout Puissant Likembe Konono
N°1 (All-Powerful Likembe Orchestra Konono N°1) recorded one track,
"Mungua-Muanga," for the compilation album Zaire: Musiques Urbaines a
Kinshasa. The group has exerted an influence on many other Congolese
popular musicians and groups.
The group has achieved some renown in North America and Europe, and has
toured both places. The Dutch rock band The Ex has covered one of their
The group recently finished collaborating with Björk on her new studio
album, Volta. They will also accompany her on her promotional tour for
Artist Website: http://www.crammed.be/konono/
Press Quotes: http://www.crammed.be/craworld/crw27/press/press.htm
Promotional Video: http://www.crammed.be/craworld/movies/konono_promo.htm
Myspace Website: http://www.myspace.com/konononr1
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