Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Congotronic, robotic, rock your body
Kitsch my adorable little silly of a roommate claims that when I heard him listening to Konono #1, the first of the two congotronics albums, I said something to the degree of the following: "This sounds like Stewart Strange music."
Stewart was a kindly young man who attended my collegiate institution; he was prone to putting African tribal beats on the stereo in the midst of parties awash with tiny hipped people stoking the fire in their loins with much Rapture-fueled ass flailing. He would complain: "None of you know how to dance" and then performing some sort of white-guy body incantation that nestled somewhere between an Andy Kauffman dance and a morbidly obese woman shrieking down a waterslide. Bless his heart for trying, but (at the time) we were more interested in the mechanics of looking fiercely aloof.
It is quite possible that I said something of the sort to Kitsch. I try to piss him off as much as I can because he's button cute when he's flustered, and now that I've incriminated myself I suppose I'll get on with it.
Truthfully, I'm sure I didn't like it at the time. Entire genres would ebb and flow in the time it once took for me to even slide along the surface of just one of them, eons in the music listening world. The affliction lingers even today, but the sheer amount of music I consume out of of post-collegiate boredom allows my mind to pluck the pretty things from beneath the surface; I can have my perfect musical moments and eat 'em too.
phew! preface: complete.
Congotronics 2, though not as widely acclaimed as #1, has some pretty fucking perfect moments. In particular I speak of the fourth track by Kasai Allstars called Kabuangoyi. Definitely a headphone track, it has a strange droning repetition, a circular musical staff, the colorful notes aligning themselves behind a treble or bass cleff and marching. It is joyous and beautiful and it is tempting to place it between the frets of Western music, but any western precedent I try to place it beneath has loose footing, not to mention would reek of that silvery roadkill smell called appropriation.
Check it: Kasai Allstars - Kabuangoyi