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Sometimes it's called likembe in the Congo or sansa.
The likembe (similar to the mbira or kalimba) that gives the band its signature resonating, nuanced, jingling melody is hand crafted from items salvaged from a junkyard.
Led by likembe player Augustin Mingiedi, son of founder Mawangu Mingiedi, the group performed for almost 90 minutes.
Guests on 3: Mbuyamba Nyunyi (bass likembe), Kabongo Tshisense and Kalenga Ditu (likembe), courtesy of Kasai Allstars on 4: Felix Manuaku 'Pepe Felly' & Vincent Kenis (guitars) on 1, 3 & 7: Nzila Mabasukisa (guitar)
Those gloriously extended full band tracks take off like never before - but also, for the first time, we hear Konono stripped right back to their essence: the album's final song, "Nakobala Lisusu Te", features just the band's founder and master, Mingiedi (now in his late-seventies) and his likembe.
For most, the style itself -- traditional Congolese music dominated by thumb piano, or likembe -- must have been something of a hypnotic revelation, but what really screwed with their heads were the homemade amps and pickups, and the wicked, gorgeous distortion that resulted.
"Mbua-A-Matumba," one of two extended story-songs, builds to a meticulously arranged climax, vocal counter-rhythms and likembe marbling patiently around one another; a similar, even drummier explosion occurs on the ecstatic "Drowning Goat (Mbuji-Mayi)."
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