Monday, January 28, 2008

Orch. Carte Blanche Du Zaire

Not many boot sales around yet so forced to dig deep into the archive for this one on the Flambeau label (1985)- Printed and designed in Nigeria it says but the music is very much the soukous we know and love from Zaire (formerly the Belgium Congo ).

Not much info. gleaned on the interent about Orch. Carte Blanche so here is a brief description I found of the early soukous scene in the Congo-

"During the 1950s, when they experienced rapid urbanization and a relatively booming economy, the two French-speaking colonies of the Congo area (capitals in Brazzaville and Kinshasa) witnessed the birth of an African version of the Cuban rumba played by small American-style orchestras (called "kasongo", "kirikiri" or "soukous") with a touch of jazz and of local attitudes: Joseph "Grand Kalle" Kabasselleh's African Jazz (that counted on vocalist Tabu Ley, guitarist "Docteur" Nico Kasanda, saxophonist Manu Dibango), Jean-Serge Essous' O.K.Jazz (featuring the young Franco), Orchestre Bella Bella, etc. Each orchestra became famous for one or more "dances" that they invented. So soukous (as Ley dubbed it in 1966) is actually a history of dances, rather than one monolithic genre (Ley's definition originally applied only to a frenzied version of rumba). A guitarist named Jimmy Elenga introduced "animation": instructions yelled to the crowd in order to direct their dances. Animation eventually became part of the dance, delivering both the identity of the dance, the (ethnic) identity of the band and a (more or less subtle) sociopolitical message. As dictators seized power in both Congos, musicians emigrated to other African countries, to Europe and to the USA, thus spreading soukous around the world, while in Zaire (Congo Kinshasa) soukous bands were used for Maoist-style propaganda purposes ("l'animation politique").

Orch. Carte Blanche Du Zaire - Miky

Orch. Carte Blanche Du Zaire - Muana Kindou

Orch. Carte Blanche Du Zaire - Umba

Orch. Carte Blanche Du Zaire - Home D'Afaire

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