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Konono No.1 Congotronics

Sometimes the worst of conditions and places can produce humanity‘s best music. Konono No.1 is about making oneself heard through a dictator‘s fortress wall, the out-of-tune symphonies of street life and ancestral ghosts. The Congolese orchestra drives to a beat chiseled out of car parts and pots and pans, while centering on an amplified likembé (thumb piano) to lead them into trances. The jams collected here have a simplicity that is so dense and raw that the music swelters from the body heat of a thousand on a dirt street. Cutting through the bustle are the likembé‘s melodies, which have a tattered electricity that haunts for days on end.

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