Kasai Allstars - Beware the Fetish
- Stewart Smith
- 20 June 2014
Second album from Congolese collective sizzles and electrifies with a range of tempo and moods framed by charismatic vocals
A new entry in the Congotronics series is always a cause for celebration. Beware the Fetish is the second album from the Kinshasa collective, following 2008's magnificently titled In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish. Consisting of around 15 musicians from five different bands, Kasai Allstars draw on the folk-customs and rituals of five Congolese ethnic groups. On this second album (a generous two disc package), a host of charismatic vocalists trade saucy banter, moral lessons and supernatural tales over mesmeric trance grooves built from distorted thumb pianos, slit drums, xylophones and electric guitars. There are a range of tempos and moods, but the highlight is 'The Ploughman', a heavy live jam with Juana Molina and members of art-rockers Deerhoof and Wildbirds & Peacedrums. Psychedelic guitar noise and buzzing thumb pianos spit and sizzle over a simmering polyrhythmic stew. Play loud and dance!