Konono No 1

25th September 2008
arts | dance | documentary arts | music video | performance | portraiture | video - michael


Konono No 1 Promotional Video (2005, 14MB, 4:20 min)

I was a bit wary of the rather glib “Congotronics” marketing
surrounding the absolutely fantastic music coming from Konono No 1
and other bands (including the Kasai All Stars) from Kinshasa,
Democratic Republic of the Congo*** – there’s so often a touch
(or more) of paternalism in these things as western rock luminaries
find some beautiful flower of music and well intentionedly but stupidly
trample and traduce it as they make it “palatable” for western consumers.

However I was completely won over by this article, which makes clear
producer Vincent Kenis’s deep knowledge of and devotion to the music
and its performers.
Furthermore it’s the kind of scholarly yet readable account of something
that one so often yearns to find on the net & so rarely does.
Watch the vid then read the article.
I bet you end up buying some of the music.

*** the much trumpeted comparison with avant-rock &c is marketing horseshit of the highest order of course – why the hell should two things that have developed in virtually completely separate social, political, economic & cultural circumstances be comparable in any meaningful sense simply because they share common surface features? Worse still, the comparison could be taken to imply that this music was somehow evolving towards the condition of western avant-rock..euurgh!