Author Topic: ARE WE WITNESSING THE END OF THE GOLDEN ERA OF CONGOLESE MUSIC?  (Read 35943 times)

EMOVICTEAM #60 on: July 21, 2014, 14:41

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2595
  • Karma: +2/-4
    • View Profile
Sly you are right.....what matters is how long its used on the song.....I will bring jb in this subject again. He is one major culprit at this especially at concerts....Alain makaba used to use it at the minimum but now most sebens have the synth chocking the solo. One other artist who has started using it is bill clinton makintosh, I do not know if its the frustration of losing kimbangu solo.....just listen to fukushima generic....synth all the way with little solo giutar....

SLY PAPA NA KEVIN #61 on: July 21, 2014, 15:08

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6734
  • Karma: +7/-3
    • View Profile
Sly you are right.....what matters is how long its used on the song.....I will bring jb in this subject again. He is one major culprit at this especially at concerts....Alain Yes, if makaba used to use it at the minimum but now most sebens have the synth chocking the solo. One other artist who has started using it is bill clinton makintosh, I do not know if its the frustration of losing kimbangu solo.....just listen to fukushima generic....synth all the way with little solo giutar....
Yes indeed, it's being misused and it's all lack of good music arrangers on the scene. Back in days when musicians consulted experienced and competent arrangers like Al Nzimbi, music sounded really well.
The synth sounds good but not when misused and the harmonica too sounds good in its original form not when substituted by a synth.
LE BIG BOSS

Tata Nkiadi #62 on: July 21, 2014, 19:45

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 303
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Congolais abotamaki na Etas-Unis
    • View Profile
You can use piano or synth keyboard, just like any other instrument to create soukous-like solo. Of course you cannot play it in the manner like a guitar, yet it sounds like soukous, and not latin rumba. You just need to accomodate the soukous structure to the capabilities of the instrument. There are soukous guitar solos which use nearly single notes only. You can do such solos on any instrument. Here is a good example for that on piano...

I take great umbrage to the fact that you're generalizing the word "soukous" for Zairean music.  I believe once you know the origin of the word and it's usage, that detestable phrase to describe a broad subject would be out of your vocabulary.

bencuri #63 on: July 22, 2014, 00:12

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 594
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
Why? What is your problem with that word? Open a thread on it, let me know what you think, I am interested in how to name this music properly.

Felo #64 on: July 24, 2014, 18:26

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
You can use piano or synth keyboard, just like any other instrument to create soukous-like solo. Of course you cannot play it in the manner like a guitar, yet it sounds like soukous, and not latin rumba. You just need to accomodate the soukous structure to the capabilities of the instrument. There are soukous guitar solos which use nearly single notes only. You can do such solos on any instrument. Here is a good example for that on piano:
There is a very big difference between a synthesizer and a sampler. As I said earlier, a synthesizer is not an instrument at all, nor is the sound it produces that of any known instrument. It simply mimics the idea of changing pitch while pressing different keys like happens in musical instruments using complex algorithms as programmed by a computer. Rule of thumb: if you cannot tell what instrument it is, then it is probably a synth.

A sampler, on the other hand, is several recordings of an instrument done at different pitches and velocities and mapped to a keyboard or any other controller. When a key is pressed, it retrieves the corresponding sound stored in its memory. Advancement in methods of recording and mapping has made the sound more and more authentic for many instruments (although am still looking for a kora patch). But some instruments are harder to reproduce on a keyboard sampler. A classic example is a guitar: seldom do two guitars sound the same due to many differences in build and styles.

In the examples you gave, the acoustic guitar sounds or even piano-like sounds you are able to identify are those of a sampler. But if a real guitar were to play the same piece, the sound would always be more authentic and rich, mainly due to the natural harmonics and resonance created by the instrument. In many modern sebenes keyboard samplers are used to try and imitate the sound of a brass section (that was a standard offering in the days of TPOK Jazz) but the result is never the same since trumpet and saxophone sounds are pretty hard to reproduce by mapping. Notice that Bana OK still favour a live horn section for their music. That is why I prefer the real instrument, but, if it is not possible or practical (it can be challenge moving an organ around) then the music sampler would be the lesser evil for me. A synthesizer sound - the sound of the unknown - is a compete turn-off.


bencuri #65 on: July 25, 2014, 13:28

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 594
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
I just wrote synth because where I live these electric keyboards are all called synth, except for those that only have piano sounds. You see they also call the musicians Hugo Synth, not Hugo Sampler :)

KAISARI #66 on: July 26, 2014, 23:04

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1564
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • Soul Rebel
    • View Profile
...Synth, Sampler or whatever we opt to call em; in2K14 I am sampling em all besides this works in the favor of drummers...
You do not beat a drum with one finger

bencuri #67 on: August 07, 2014, 23:18

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 594
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
In this last one they solved the solo quite well. It is true that the guitar is the best instrument to play soukous with, but sometimes replacing it with other instrument doesn't hurt, and it doesn't neccessarily mean we are out of soukous.
In congolese music, the synth actually replaces a harmonica and not necessarily a solo guitar but what happens is that when the synth is played, it's louder than the guitars, such parts in sebene are to break down the sebene a bit especially to do some solo dances or syncronized dance moves by those on stage.
It is not a problem when a synth is used for a short period but not when it's used for an extended period of time because it means the guitars are pauzed so it's just the synth and drums playing and sometimes that can be annoying especially because most bands set the synth volume output on high!

But I think you are talking about situations when the synth is actually in rythm role, aren't you? I have noticed several times that when the synth is used as a 'filler' instrument, they do set the volume high, and it is odd, indeed.  But, there are several concert or studio recordings, too, where the rythm guitars are set too loud, louder than the solo guitar, that spoils the song completely. However it is just a matter of mixing. If used well, the synth can be very good accompagnement instrument in my opinion. Bilenge Musica used it as a rythm instrument on almost all tracks on their first album, and the outcome is quite pleasing:



What I referred to before is not the way of using synth as you talk about it. When I said it is good that some bands experiment with synths seriously I meant when it is used as a solo instrument. In that case it is not a problem that the solo guitar is in the background. Actually the song doesn't even need a solo guitar then. The synth takes the leading role and it is okay. The videos I pasted of that rehearsal of Werra's band and those that others pasted with Hugo synth appearing in them: there the synth is used for lead role. I am not following every recent work of the bands, so it may happen they create too many boring tunes with using synths, but well, I also know a ton of songs where the lead is by guitar and it is boring. So what I wanted to say is that synth itself has the potential to be good for solo, too, and there are examples, that shows the Congolese sound can be adapted to it. Of course everything is a matter of taste, if you dislike synth, then it won't be pleasing to you in any case, but if you like it, these example clips can be quite interesting for you.

SLY PAPA NA KEVIN #68 on: August 08, 2014, 14:28

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6734
  • Karma: +7/-3
    • View Profile
Bencuri, in Congolese music, they usually have two keyboards, one plays accompaniment to supplement the rhythm guitar, the second keyboard player produces the synth sounds and what I mean is this at
Watch from Min 13.56 to Min 15.19, that is what is referred to as Synth and often the keyboard players who play in that set up are identified by their stage name for instance Thierry Synthé, Hugo Synthé etc,it distinguishes what they do


or here is a clear example where the synth is used and it makes too much noise,it starts right from the start of the video so during this time the soloist has to stop playing.

LE BIG BOSS

bencuri #69 on: August 08, 2014, 18:10

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 594
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
These are different approaches than what Bilenge musica did. In the second video there are sessions when the synth receives more emphasis than in the song: Rumba is Rumba that I linked. However, I still say this is just a matter of composing. It is not the Synth that cannot fit the music, it is the composer who may implement it right or wrong. For example once I composed a Congolese like tune, that had drums, bass guitar, and synth in both rythm and solo. And I am satisfied with it. It is not the sound that you get when you have only guitars, but still commemorates the soukous sound.

What is ture, in the second video, they try to add the synth when you can here that classic Congolese sound with the solo guitar on lead, it can be odd indeed. It sounds strange, however there are moments when I like the outcome. Or there is that tune what Hugo plays, how they implemented it in the song on stage, I like it:



It is definately not a piece where the guitar must play the lead. But it is just one track. If they switch off the synth in the next one, and turn up the volume for the lead guitar, that doesn't hurt in my opinion. It is like when a band adds one or two salsa tracks to the repertoire of their album. If not all the album consists of salsa tracks, I don't mind.

Personally I feel it is as if they were experimenting. I wouldn't like if Congolese music would take this direction, but when they put the synth on solo on some of the tracks and provided the solo is good, I am not against that. Actually I couldn't say how much you could use synth in Congolese music. That Bilenge Musica album has it in rythm on all the tracks, and it is more pronounced than usual, though not dominating, yet I never felt it disturbing, nor different sound than other Congolese records. It is different than a band with guitars only, but still I could listen their concert all night.

SLY PAPA NA KEVIN #70 on: August 08, 2014, 19:11

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6734
  • Karma: +7/-3
    • View Profile
Bencuri, in the Bilenge Musica you've posted above, the synth has been used to the minimum and not the usual way it's presently used. What we complain about when we mention misuse of synth is clearly in the two videos i have posted above, the synth we despise is the loud one as it almost mutes out all the other instruments.
To make it clearer, this is what congolese bands try to replace

A physical harmonica replaced by synth sounds from a keyboard. They use the standard keyboard but apply setting to produce high pitched sounds like the harmonica.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 19:15 by DJ SLY »
LE BIG BOSS

bencuri #71 on: August 08, 2014, 20:44

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 594
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
So you are complaining about the mixing mistakes? I thought you are complaining about what Felo did, that 'the piano dilutes it badly.'

SLY PAPA NA KEVIN #72 on: August 08, 2014, 21:22

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6734
  • Karma: +7/-3
    • View Profile
So you are complaining about the mixing mistakes? I thought you are complaining about what Felo did, that 'the piano dilutes it badly.'
No,the extended use of noisy synth especially in sebene.
You rightly noted this in this video,listen to the sound being produced by the keyboard with synth settings that Felo explained last time. That is the noise I don't like,it's okay when the synth is played for a limited time.
LE BIG BOSS

bencuri #73 on: August 09, 2014, 00:26

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 594
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile