Staff Benda Bilili - Très Très Fort
- Jan Fairley
- 6 January 2010
One of last autumn’s world music highlights, this spookily beautiful album, which includes musicians, amphibians and some catchier-than- the-cold rhythms, is still irresistible.
The slightly eerie sound of the plucked string of the home-made satongé introduces beseechingly rough yet seductive voices over grooving beds of guitars, announcing Congolese rumba with a difference.
Recorded by veteran Belgian producer Vincent Kenis (TPOK Jazz, Konono Number One, Kasai All-Stars) in the grounds of the Kinshasa Zoo, a group of music making polio victims who hitherto spent their lives in customised wheel chairs busking, have become the 21st century world music group. With young able-bodied musicians providing drum and bass, this is irresistible music complete with frogs. The band’s name means ‘Look beyond first appearances’ – a message to take to heart through these infectious rhythms.