Friday, April 6, 2007

Parading Past Hits: Congo - Nairobi

I don't know much about the bands on this elpee. I guess most are Congolese musicians who drifted to Nairobi and recorded there.

Orchestre Hi-Fives do their multicultural and multilinguistic thing, singing in English, Swahili, French, and Lingala (Learn how to say "I Love You" in all of these languages!). I especially love its 'sebene', the instrumental part of the piece, made for extended dancing and sometimes described as beau desordre (beautiful chaos). Going back to the 1940s, radio trottoir has it that Wendo Kolosoy and Henri Bowane started it all with the hit Marie Louise. In the 1970s, it continues on. Agy I Love You simply has such a sweet groove!

On a mellower note, Moji & The Tropicals lament the suffering in the world (that's what Duniani Mateso means, in Swahili). I haven't come across other releases of Moji (aside from a 45, released by French Barclays), but I'll look closer next time I'm in Nairobi and am able visit Melodica music store. It's another of my favorite, uncommon African pieces. You don't hear many transverse flutes in African music...


zim said...


great selection - Mosasa Ndembo by les noirs is one of my all time favorites (I put it on of the 'african serenades' at the matsuli blog). For folks interested in learning a little more about them, there's quite a bit of info on them and related bands at


Ntwiga said...

Excellent post Pieter. I have spent the last couple of hours just enjoying the site and download all these rare gems.

Thank you.

- Steve

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