Monday, February 25, 2008

Ready for Veve Star?

I met up with Jontwa, a good friend, here in Mwanza. Jontwa loves my music collection; he's especially blown away by the second Congotronics release (which you should get, if you haven't already).

A while ago, Jontwa had called and said he'd found an mzee (Swahili for old man) with a big box of records. After several missed meetings, we finally managed to visit the old man, Janepaa (Jean-Pierre), quite a character: born in Mbandaka, Equator Province in Congo, sometime after WWI, adventured to Tanganyika after WWII, worked as a airplane/helicopter mechanic, and was also connected with Orchestre Makassy in some shape or form. I'll have to visit Janepaa again soon to hear all his stories (and he's got more music).

The big box of records had about 300 45s, some in plastic sleeves (as well as a bible in braille!). Lots of Congolese stuff and Kenyan-Congolese bands like Les Mangelepa. Most are in need of a very thorough cleaning but not all: I couldn't resist putting one 45 up even though there's some crackle here and there. Orchestre Veve Star's Nitarudia (I'll Come Back). You may have heard Veve Star's Bassala Hot before (on Frank's Voodoofunk) but I hadn't yet heard this track. Veve Star is probably an off-shoot of Verckys' Orchestre Veve. 'Verckys' Kiamuangana Mateta plays the saxophone. Verckys has been one of the most infuential music producers in Congo and scored many hits on his label, Editions Veve. Verckys continues to be involved in the music scene, as president of the Congolese Musician Union. A great retrospective reissue is this Vintage Verckys compilation, but this gem wasn't on it...

Orchestre Veve Star - Nitarudia Pt.1 & Pt.2

10 comments:

Pieter said...

Muzikifan put up an excellent Verckys & Veve discography here: http://www.muzikifan.com/veve.html

Tim said...

Wow, Pieter, this is a fantastic track, the horns are tremendous.

I've taken the liberty of cleaning the sound up a bit using CD Spindoctor's basic filtering system, which gets rid of some but not all of the clicks and hiss (if you get too heavy on the filters bands end up sounding like they are playing pots and pans at the bottom of the ocean). You can download the two filtered versions here:

http://www.sendspace.com/file/2ngxdm

And, as always with Sendspace, the link will stay live for a week or so, so grab it while it's hot.

Pieter said...

Thanks, Tim, for cleaning the files. I've used the cleaning filters of Pyro in the past but wasn't too happy with the result. I'd rather hear the crackle than the underwater orchestra you describe.

Yes, those horns are amazing!

Tim said...

Pieter, Give the version I put up a listen and if you think it's okay, I'll do the same for any other tunes you post from mzee's cache.

zim said...

Pieter, great song,

I like it much better than bassala hot, in fact its probably the best funk oriented congolese song I've heard.

Tim, really nice job on the clean up as well

Frank said...

Nice one Pieter!

I think there's another Afrobeat 45 by them on the same label...



best

Frank

matt said...

great tune

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rainer said...

hi pieter,

here are snippets of another heavy Orchestre Veve funk/afrobeat release. as far as i know it on 7inch only and both sides are equally good! the clip includes a bit of both sides! contact me through my website if you want the full tracks plus the whole info.

http://www.konzeptlos.org/veve.mp3

best wishes, rainer

Dr.Frank said...

Hi Pieter,

we had a 3 hours long interview (+ music) with Verckys in our radioshow "AfroBuro" (Radio Centraal) last two weeks. The interview is now online for 60 days.
Sorry for the anglophone folks but the interview is in French.
http://ambiancecongo.blogspot.com/2009/06/interview-with-verckys-on-radio.html