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Topics - Bohemian Rhapsody

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Congolese Music / Offset of Migos dancing to Ndombolo
« on: October 15, 2023, 03:56 »

 ;D ;D ;D

When you listen to most Afrobeats, most of their musical structure is pop music to fit the radio format. It's a combination of Hip Hop, Dancehall and Nigerian sounds.

The Afrobeats songs that made an impact were those with distinct samples, percussion and rhythm changes. The difference between Afrobeat and Afrobeats is Fela Kuti adapted Funk, Soul and traditional Nigerian music into the African sound to form Afrobeats. 

Congolese Rumba from the 1960's up to the 2000's will the dominant dance music of Africa. It wasn't until Koffi took that criticism of Tabu Ley to the heart that he decided to lessen the number of sebenes. The trend of adding ballad rumbas start to take head in the mid 2000's and now it's the norm.

Notably, there are many forms of rumbas. The common form of rhumba-sebene is verse-refrain-chorus (nkumba is the slow part of the rumba), then the song will do 2 or 3 rhythm changes before the musicians jump into the sebene. This was the formula that made Congolese Music successful for years!

The other forms of rumba is rumba odemba (OK Jazz school-Franco), Rumba-Fiesta (Tabu Ley African Fiesta, African Jazz Grand Kalle, Bantous de la Capitale), rumba sukuma (Wendo Kolosy - Marie Louise) - Rumba Sukuma is the main format of ballad rumbas. Then, you also have Rumba Disco, Rumba Soukous, Rumba Soum Djoum of Tabu Ley, Rumba Rock of Clan Viva la Musica and Folklore Rumba of traditional ethnic groups like Muyene, Batandu, etc

In 2004, Coupe Decale of Ivory Coast started to dominate the dance charts with artists such as the late DJ Arafat, Douk Saga, Kedjevara, the late Erickson Le Zulu, Serge Beynaud etc.

Mind you, Coupe Decale is just a faster tempo of Ndombolo.

Coupe Decale was the dominant dance music of West Africa until the early 2010's. Nigerian artists such as Tiwa Savage, Davido, Wizkid, Yemi Alade and countless others start to launch the airwaves.

The banning of Congolese artists touring in West Africa led to the downfall of Congolese Music. In the 70's, 80's, and 90's, artists/bands such as Pepe Kalle, Aurlus Mabele, Koffi Olomide, General Defao, Zaiko Langa Langa, Extra Musica, Wenges would sell out stadiums, halls and arenas.

Sonically, most Afrobeats songs don't have a sebene. Most Afrobeats songs sound more raw and energetic with a live band versus on studio. So why Afrobeats is popular?

Afrobeats is popular due to the dominance of Nigerians promoting their sound, the English language, videos launched on MTV, BET and on Youtube, plus the consistency of marketing. The importance of marketing is makes listeners aware of the sound, keeps music listeners engaged and creates demand, relevance, reputation and competition.

Can the same marketing strategies help Congolese Rumba of today? Or is the potential dead? If Koffi didn't start the ballad rumba trend, would the dynamics of Congolese Rumba still remain the dominant force as it used to be?

Rest in Peace General Defao. His work ethic in the 90's was outstanding!!!

Special shoutout to Jagger Bokoko. Dynamic lead guitarist who rode with the success of Big Stars. It's sad what happened to him in Germany.

Philly Mbala. Featuring the voices of Djuna Djunana, Reddy Amisi, Luciana Demingongo and Dindo Yogo.

Africa Richesse. This was the debut of Laurent Kadogo on solo; he plays on Yaya Anny. Mboka Liya also features on a couple tracks. Great sebenes on this album!!!

Famille Kikuta 1995 version. His signature song. The 1995 and 1996 versions are the most famous. This album is different because it features Yves Demukuse on solo guitar and Nzenze Mogengo on keyboards. Caen Madoka also plays on a couple tracks like Oniva.

Systeme D. This album is unique because it features Roxy Tshimpaka "Grand Niawou" on solo guitar. Ya Roxy!!! Defao remixes a earlier Choc Stars titled "Yembelina". Bassist Jean Louis Bikunda also plays very good on here. Very rare album!

Dernier Album 95 aka "Solange Remix". This was a remix of the original Solange cassette in 92. One of known albums.

Amour Interdit. This album was a success. New team. We notice atalaku Theo Mbala and guitarist Mboka Liya reappears! Famille Kikuta gets remixed again, this time, it's his most famous version. Madova was also a big hit!

Sala Noki. Ahhhh...this album made him well known in Africa esp. with the generique Animation! Also, this album led to his successful tour in Abidjan, Ivory Coast! Renato Mundele plays on the generique.

We also had Copinage which was a remix to Sala Noki. Mboka Liya playing on the remix of Sala Noki and another track.

Tremblement de Terre. This was recorded in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Guest starring is Bozi Boziana on vocals (Annie) and Awilo Longomba on drums. Mboka Liya shines on this!

Bana Congo Vol. 1 & 2. Recorded in the USA! This was a guest lineup featuring Werrason, Manda Chante, Marie Paul, Djouna Big One, Likinga, Koffi Ali Baba. Also Laurent Kadogo also reappears on solo. The generique "Bana Congo" was also very popular on dancefloors!

Defao had a lot of potential in the 90's! It's sad that Big Stars eventually crumbled in the early 2000's with Montana joining Koffi and Kabose joining Bozi in Film Ebulaki. Defao will always be remember as the King of Ndombolo, an elegant dresser and that voice...a soulful velvet voice that could touch people's heart. We'll miss you!!!


Congolese Music / New Sebenologies & Drumology
« on: April 28, 2021, 04:25 »
The homie Shaddy is back with new Sebenologies :D.
He said he was particularly inspired by YouTuber Harris for starting the legacy. For the people to acknowledge the musicians who make us dance and reminisce. He believes the spirit of sebene will never die...I agree with him!!!

Djudjuchet "Djudju Music" Pt. 1. !!! Pt. 2 will come soon...

Saladin Ferreira of Soukous Stars!!!!

Alvarito Solo

Baroza Bansimba!!!


This is arguably one of his greatest solos and best songs of TPOK Jazz! That Blue Gibson guitar tone never fails to make me smile.

Congolese Music / Who played on this Awilo track?
« on: August 27, 2020, 19:00 »

The "classic" that cemented his success in Afrika and its diaspora! (Especially Nigeria lol)

So we know Japonais played his signature riffs on "Gate Le Coin". This was a mega-success! But who played on "Coupe Bibamba" was it Japonais Kyoto or Dally Kimoko?

The reason I added Dally Kimoko is because if you listen to the sebene of  "Moyen Te" or "Moto Pamba" from Awilo, the distortion was played by Dally.

Here's Moyen Te for observation

« on: April 18, 2020, 10:11 »
Mbote ndekos and mwasis, this is volume 2 of the series. Let's dive right in.


To locate the birthplace in Africa of Rumba, you have to look at the Congo basin side and inside the territory that made up the Kingdom of Kongo whose capital M'Banza Kongo or San Salvador was in Angola. "(Page 13)

Kongo music was varied and was performed according to events, situations. Among the most popular dances, there was the "navel dance", during which the two partners rub the navel. "Navel" is said to be " Kumba " in kikongo (or Mu-Kumba). The slaves originating from the Kongo kingdom who land in Cuba are keen to make their cultural heritage prosper, especially since the slaves are authorized to regroup in "calbidos", that is to say "black associations of same ethnic origin. " The ceremonies organized by these "calbidos" are all occasions to find the dances, the rites of the land of Africa which is always present in their memory.

Thus, The second part of Clément Ossinondé's work not only provides information on music, it is also a section of the history of Cuba that is offered to the reader. The Kumba, belly dance performed in circumstances such as the birth of twins, will become the Rumba, " depending on the deformation, let's even say the particular pronunciation of the Spanish masters " (page 34).

From Kumba to Rumba, what evidence, do you want to shout, and yet the idea would not have crossed my mind if I had not read Ossinondé. The book has only fifty pages, it reads quickly and allows you to take a quick tour of Congolese rumba. The great names of this music who have distinguished themselves on both banks of the Congo River are cited from the beginning of the work. Twenty, including Joseph Kabassele, whose name is definitively linked to a song that has taken on the value of an anthem, according to David Van Reubrouck, who has written an exciting book on the Congo. Here is what he writes from the testimony of Charly Henault, the Belgian drummer of the African Jazz (" I was white, but what importance? I was a drummer in a country full of drummers "), testimony collected in 2008 :

" They started at the Plaza Hotel to concoct a song that would soon become one of the greatest successes of Congolese music: Cha-cha independence . The text, in Lingala and Kikongo, was delighted with the newly acquired autonomy, praised the collaboration of the different parties and sang the big names of the struggle for independence: "Independence, cha-cha, we got it, / Oh! Round table, cha-cha, we won! "After 1960, the Congo was going to receive different national anthems, at the time of Kasavubu, at the time of Mobutu, at the time of Kabila, from pompous compositions to texts pathetic, but throughout these last fifty years there has been only one true Congolese national anthem, one single tune which until today spontaneously swayed all of Central Africa: playful music , light and moving of cha-cha independence . "


Don Fadel is one of these little-known geniuses. He is writing the history of Congolese music. For him the roumba comes from Congo-Brazzaville, as well as the soukous. To support his arguments, he carried out fieldwork in Brazzaville and Kinshasa. He interviewed Diaboua, Wendo. Video interviews of more than one hour with Diaboua will be used. This work will be the subject of a publication entitled "History at the Place".

Don Fadel

You learn first-hand information.
For example, Diaboua was the first master of Jean-Serge Essou. He taught her the flute then offered her his first clarinet. Diaboua was the first musician to introduce congas into the Congolese roumba. To Kabassélé’s great surprise, said Kalé Jeff, Diaboua suggested inserting the percussions in the song Parafifi. It worked. Before, groups like Victoria Brazza by Paul Kamba used the paténgués (rectangular tambourines). Since then, we can no longer do without congas in Congolese music.
Don Fadel wishes to restore the historical truth. He goes back to the sources, notably on the other bank of the Congo river to discuss with the actors of the early hours of the roumba.
" What do you want ? Who are you ? Yelled Wendo when Don Fadel landed at his home in Kinshasa to investigate the origins of the roumba.

“I am a Congolese citizen. I'd like to interview you, "said Don Fadel.
"Yeah, I imitated Victoria Brazza in 1948," said Wendo Kolosoy.
"In fact, this patriarch had poached a musician from Victoria Brazza to reinforce Victoria Kin" explains Don Fadel.
When Rocheraud says after his stint at Olympia in 1969 that he is the father of the Soukous, it makes Don Fadel laugh.
“Everything is reversed. Things will have to be put back in place, "promises this ethnomusicologist.

"The soukous was born in Ouénzé with the Sinza orchestra. The person who will popularize this rhythm is Pamelo Mounka. Walking through the night in Ouénzé, Pamélo intends to play an orchestra at the Vis à Vis bar. It was Sinza Kotoko. The rhythm pleases him. He composes "Mama na mwana" on this tempo .

It was a great success. But Pamelo Mounka is just a mediator. In truth, the soukous was born in 1959 thanks to a musician named Ibombon with his group Air Mambo. Ibombon played in a bar next to the Ouénzé market. Accountant by trade, Ibombon is assigned to Dolisie. He then decides to sell his material to the young musicians of the rue Mouila who had just created Sinza Kotoko (Mousse, Ya Gabi, Don Fadel…)
"I leave the material for a small fee, but I also leave you a rhythm. Take advantage of it. "
"The advice does not fall on deaf ears. Piere Mountouari composes the song Vévé and Ma Loukoula whose swing has toured Africa. The soukous was born from there ”notes Don Fadel.
Full Link (

The legacy of Sinza Kotoko and the Soukous rhythm

The "Soukous" one of the genres of modern Congolese music to be recognized internationally is a creation of Sinza Kotoko. Orchestration with traditional music and dance accents "Kongo", with as main director, the irremovable solo guitarist Jacques Kimbembe "Mous".

"My Loukoula"

If you want to get an idea of ​​what Rumba "Soukous" was yesterday, just listen to "Ma Loukoula". The refined dialogue of voices and instruments: the little folk side, now gone, has not been emulated. Especially in the preponderant importance represented by the bass; and the more sought-after, more complex rhythmic textures, forcing dancers to invent new steps.

At that time, everything was done "by hand": no electronic percussion or synthesized brass. Real sax, like in the good old days of "Walla". And a man to type with modulation the skins of the Tumbas. Typical music in all its enjoyable splendor. But unfortunately ! Sinza has not been in this world since the 80s.

For the record, 1964 reminds us of the creation of the “Super Tumba” orchestra; Ouénzé orchestra which - after Orphée Jazz -  won fame in Brazzaville. It is thanks to its main actors Gabriel Dianzolo, Jacques Kimbembe, Anatole Bokassa and Hyacinthe Malonga, that the orchestra "Super Tumba" was born in 1964, at the bar "Vis-à-vis" Ouénzé, before becoming Sinza "Kotoko" in 1965. In 1968 Pierre Mountouari arrived who played an important role in strengthening the group. In particular with the launch of successful titles like "Veve", "Ma Loukoula", "Mavoungou" ... published by Pathé Marconi editions, the result of a coherent and solid team.

1973 - Sinza Gold medal of the 1st Pan African Cultural Festival in Tunis

The most phenomenal success of the Sinza orchestra is its participation in Tunis in June 1973 in the First Pan African Cultural Festival of Youth. He seduced a whole people, to the point where despite the charismatic presence of Tabu Ley and Afrisa, did not prevent Sinza from obtaining the Festival's gold medal. Sinza had succeeded by refusing the facility offered by the vogue "Disco" and "Soum Joum", to play music based on the tradi-modern "Soukous" which showed that the group had perfectly assimilated the ideas launched by the singers Ange Linaud Djendo and Théophile Bitsikou "Théo",. Both were part of the Congolese delegation .

And then a musical genre in its own right, the "Soukous" which has crossed all eras and all styles, producing perhaps the most creative in the history of Congolese music.

Link (

The influence of guitarist Huit Kilos.

Nseka Huit Kilos Bimwela's swift arpeggios would be later be the archetype of the Kumba-Soukouss tone. Listen to a young 14-yr old Huit Kilos on Dindo Yogo & Orch. Macchi's Lola Muana.

The influence of Drummer Ya Meridjo!

In 1973, Zaiko Langa Langa would changing it's drumming structure. Meridjo adds a new rhythm called "Machine Ya Kauka" inspired by the sounds of th train movement ( You can hear the "Machine Ya Kauka"  on such melodies such as Eluzam, Mbeya Mbeya and much more.

Prince Nico's Sweet Mother

Prince Nico Mbarga is a Nigerian/Cameroonian musician that revolutionize Afrikan Music with his timeless's hit "Sweet Mother". One of the most known songs from the continent.

It was a love song from a son to a mother that, in its old-fashioned way, never actually once says “I love you.” Instead, it’s a grateful son praising what his mother did for him as a child: drying his tears, putting him to bed, feeding him, praying when he’s ill:

When I dey hungry my mother go run up and down / she dey find me something when I go chop oh! / Sweet Mother a-aah / Sweet Mother oh-e-oh!

And if “Sweet Mother” was dedicated to all mothers and the things they do for children, it was inspired by the loving sacrifices Mbarga saw his own mother, a widowed farmer, make after his father died. The lyrics began, “Sweet Mother, I no go forget you, for dey suffer wey you suffer for me.”

For six months Mbarga – now calling himself Prince Nico Mbarga – Rocafil and Rogers All Stars worked on “Sweet Mother,” rehearsing daily from seven in the morning until one in the afternoon. It was, says Rocafil rhythm guitarist, Cameroonian Jean Duclair, “real every day work,” as they made change after change, turning it from a gentle “cha cha cha” to a more upbeat highlife sound, adding little dance breaks, and crafting a song marked more and more by the drive of Mbarga’s Congolese-style finger-picking lead guitar.

Finally satisfied, the band travelled across the country to record, and after a heavy night in a Lagos hotel, with all but Mbarga drinking and smoking, recorded it live at Decca Studios – hung over for sure, but they had practiced so much it hardly mattered.

And what was the reason for its success? Certainly, with its Congolese guitar-picking, its West African highlife beat and its pidgin lyrics, “Sweet Mother” had something for people all over.

Oliver de Coque. Nigerian guitarist inspired by Kongo

Oliver de Coque during his lifetime was an accomplished musician who became popular with his brand of highlife. He started playing music in 1974 after he learnt how to play guitar from Piccolo and he has about 86 albums to his credit. He played a major role during civil war playing music for the Biafran soldiers.

Together with Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe and the various Orientals off-shoots, Oliver De Coque (b. Oliver Sunday Akanite) can be considered one of the prime exemplars of and chief innovators in contemporary Igbo popular music. Of these musicians, he has done the most to integrate contemporary highlife and traditional Igbo music. Indeed, his trademark "system" or "style" takes its name from the Ogene, a double-headed bell used in traditional Igbo music. One of Africa's greatest guitarists, he has been much inspired by Congolese soukous, and this is shown to good form in such releases as 1985's "Nne Bu Oyoyo / Ezigbo Nna." "Omumu Onye Nzoputa (Jesu Kristi) / Olu Ebube Nke Onye Nweayi" from 1983 shares a guitar line with the tune "Nanu Lubutu" by Congolese group Minzoto Wella-Wella.

De Coque hails from Ezinifite, Nnewi South LGA, Anambra State, and got his musical start in 1965 at the age of 17 playing ekpili, a form of Igbo traditional music. In 1970, following the defeat of the Biafran war of independence, he got a job playing with a Lagos group, Sunny Agaga & his Lucky Star Band. Shortly after he engaged with Jacob Oluwole & his Friendly Unity Band, and was featured on their hit "Agbasisi." De Coque's stint with this group was also short-lived, and in 1973 he took up with Sule Agboola & his Moonlight Star Band.

As this discography shows, De Coque has continued into the '90s with his usual fecundity. In addition to his singing career he has also branched out into the acting field, appearing in several Nigerian video releases. While De Coque still delivers a great stage show, his last few releases have been rather weak. His younger brother Eugene, however has ably carried on the "Ogene" tradition with his updated "Igede" sound (see his separate discography below).

He sadly died of Cardiac arrest on June 20, 2008.

Here's a piece of his powerful guitar playing! You can hear the "Franco" influence

How the Kongolese sound went to Abidjan!

Sam Mangwana & African All Stars

African All Stars, influential but short-lived Congolese rumba band, formed 1978; disbanded 1979. Théo Blaise Kounkou (born Brazzaville, 1949; vocal), Lokassa ya Mbongo (born Kinshasa, 1946; guitar), Dizzy Mandjeku (born Kinshasa, Aug. 20, 1946; guitar), Sam Mangwana (born Kinshasa, Feb. 21, 1945; vocal), Ringo Moya (born Kinshasa, 1953; died Paris, Apr. 1993; drums), Roland M'vogo (born Cameroon, bass).

Band formed in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, where a number of Congo-Kinshasa (Zaire) musicians, disillusioned with economic and political conditions at home, had gone to seek a fresh start. Mangwana, Lokassa, Mandjeku and Moya, four veterans of Tabu Ley's band, Afrisa, joined with Congo-Brazzaville's Kounkou and Cameroonian M'vogo to launch their new band.

The All Stars felt Congolese dominance of African pop music to be under threat from pressing plants at home, idled by lack of raw materials and spare parts, and from a certain absence of artistic innovation. It was the time of "Sweet Mother" from Nigeria's Prince Nico Mbarga, who fashioned a mixture of West African highlife and Congolese-style guitars into a world-wide hit. To counter Mbarga's challenge, the All Stars speeded up the rumba (Congolese music's base) and de-emphasized conventional Lingala lyrics in favor of more widely understood French and English.

With help from a Nigerian producer, the players traveled to Lagos in the middle of 1978 where, in little more than twenty-four hours, they recorded enough material for three albums: Sam Mangwana et l'African All Stars, Les Champions, and Zeneba. Most of the songs incorporated the speeded-up "new beat," but a laid-back rumba called "Georgette Eckins" produced the session's runaway hit. The All Stars played concerts along the West African coast and, while in Ghana in early 1979, recorded four albums of new material: Est-ce Que Tu Moyens?, M'banda Kazaka, Mamadou, and Suzana Coulibaly. A faster, "new beat" song, "Suzana Coulibaly," produced the biggest hit of these sessions.

Also in 1979, the group moved its headquarters from Abidjan to Lomé, Togo, where it was joined by three additional guitarists from Kinshasa: Pablo Lubadika, Bopol Mansiamina, and Syran M'Benza. By then, however, dissension had begun to mount. After recording a final album, Matinda, in Lagos, the African All Stars broke up, ending a brief but extraordinarily creative year of existence. A reunion of Lokassa, Mandjeku, Mangwana, and Moya in 1982 produced three new albums—Affaire Video, N'simba Eli, and Bonne Année—under the African All Stars name, but all lacked the fire and spontaneity of the group's original work.

Despite its brief existence, the African All Stars proved to be tremendously influential. They demonstrated to other musicians that there could be artistic life outside of Kinshasa and Brazzaville.  (

Another obscure band came on the scene in Abidjan from Kongo (Zaire). This was called Micky Micky led by percussionist Mavos Meme Mavungu

Other musicians such as Nyboma Canta of Lipua Lipua, Bella Bella and Kamale went to Abidjan. In fact, this is where he released his biggest hit - Double Double with Dally Kimoko on solo.

Dally Kimoko

Tchico Tchicaya of Bantous de la Fame fame went to Abidjan as well. From Congo Brazza

Mbote Everybody. Jambo. Bonjour to everybody at Congo Vibes.

Who are these people, you say? ??? These are the infamous Kru sailors. The same people who the late Wendo Kolosoy witnessed coming into Kinshasa and Matadi.  8)

You probably have heard of the Kru of West Africa who were a very strong-willed and independent group of people that could not be captured into slavery. Originally from Liberia, the Kru were also found in parts of Sierra Leone and Gambia and were a fishing community that had skill in swimming and sailing with great knowledge about the navigation on sea to other parts of West Africa and Africa at large. Due to this skill, they developed a great bond with the Westerners and were hired as sailors to help them navigate through West Africa.

Historically accounts suggests the Kru sailors of Liberia greatly influenced West Africa and Central Afrika through music and their unique way of playing the guitar and the concertina. The guitar style they mastered was played by the thumb and arpeggiation along with the other fingers. Jean Bosco Mwenda e.g.

Before being introduced to the guitar, the Kru men were conversant with similar string instruments such as the kora and lute which were popular in West Africa. This made learning the guitar very easy.

The Kru sailors played the guitar and caught the attention of the locals who would then learn to play. The Kru sailors taught them how to play Portuguese and Calypso melodies learnt from the Westerners as well as their own incorporated rhythms. However, it was in Ghana that Highlife music began after the locals who lived in small villages along the coast learnt to play the guitar.

The Kru brought this style of guitar playing at various future African capitals along the West African coast and up the Congo River Basin: Dakar Senegal, Conakry Guinea, Abidjan Ivory Coast, Accra Ghana, Cape Coast Ghana, Kinshasa (Leopoldville) Kongo, Port Harcourt Nigeria, Lagos Nigeria, Brazzaville Kongo, Douala Cameroon and much more.

In Ghana, the locals who learnt the guitar grew very fascinated with the sounds and adapted the two-finger picking style of playing the local instrument, known as the Seprewa, on the guitar which started a new era of music known as the Palm Wine Music. It was very popular in the rural parts of Ghana which was then known as the Gold Coast.

After a while, palmwine music and the guitar playing style made its way into the more urban parts of Ghana where dance bands were developing. With the introduction of the guitar and the palmwine style of playing it, Highlife music was born.

The term highlife developed from the use of both Western instruments and local ones to create music. The name itself came from the issue of social classes which indicated that such music was usually enjoyed by elite Ghanaians who were high up in the social classes hence ‘high-life ‘music.

Highlife music created huge names in Ghana such as E.T Mensah and also spread throughout West Africa ultimately giving birth to several other music genres in West Africa such as Burger Highlife, Afrobeat, Hiplife, Afro Jazz and several others.

From history, it is the guitar that would later become an important part of African music and lead to the development of Highlife music in Ghana, spreading throughout Africa and parts of Central Africa like Congo.

It's because of these guys, Modern Afrikan Music has added the sebene ("seventh chords") including Nkumba (also known as "Rumba" ), Coupe Decale, Benga, Zengue, Semba, Zouk,Mandingue, Maringa, Kalindula, Mbaqanga, Bikutsi and many more.

You'll also notice that Abidjan mimics Kinshasa with the Sebene culture. By this, we're talking about who's the best, who's "hot" and  has potential.


Rumba Rules: The Politics of Dance Music in Mobutu's Zaire  Bob W. Wilfe  Pg. 256 (

Punk Ethnography: Artists & Scholars Listen to Sublime Frequencies Michael E. Veal, E. Tammy Kim. Pg 215

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: Africa Ruth M. Stone

Face2Face Africa (

Congolese Music / Seben x Kompa
« on: March 02, 2019, 00:09 »
Ndombolo meets Kompa. Why hasn't this been created?

Mr. Tokosss, le ambianceur d'afrique. Guest appearance of basketball star, Serge Ibaka.

Congolese Music / Twanga Pepeta: Povu
« on: February 07, 2019, 13:36 »
Twanga Pepeta, who's hails from Tanzania, just celebrated their 20th year anniversary last year. Miaka 20 Ya Twanga Pepeta.

Here's their soloist, Miraji Shakashia

Their latest track, Povu. Ndombolo mixed with Afrobeat.


What is the Clave you say?

The clave is a rhythmic pattern used as a tool for temporal organization in Afro-Cuban music. It is present in a variety of genres such as Abakuá music, rumba, conga, son, mambo, salsa, songo, timba and Afro-Cuban jazz. The five-stroke clave pattern represents the structural core of many Afro-Cuban rhythms. It's also present in other variants of Afro music.

The clave pattern originated in sub-Saharan African music traditions, where it serves essentially the same function as it does in Cuba.The clave pattern is also found in the African diaspora musics of Haitian Vodou drumming, Afro-Brazilian music, African American music which is known as Hambone and also found in Louisiana Voodoo drumming as well as Afro-Uruguayan music (candombe). The clave pattern (or hambone, as it is known in the United States) is used in North American popular music as a rhythmic motif or simply a form of rhythmic decoration.

The historical roots of the clave are linked to transnational musical exchanges within the African diaspora. For instance, influences of the African “bomba” rhythm are reflected in the clave. In addition to this, the emphasis and role of the drum within the rhythmic patterns speaks further to these diasporic roots.[9] Thus, black music is the heart of the rhythmic centrality of the clave.

The clave is the foundation of reggae, reggaeton, and dancehall. In this sense, it is the “heartbeat” that underlies the essence of these genres.[9] The rhythms and vibrations are universalized in that they demonstrate a shared cultural experience and knowledge of these roots. Ultimately, this embodies the diasporic transnational exchange.

In considering the clave as this basis of cultural understanding, relation, and exchange, this speaks to the transnational influence and interconnectedness of various communities. This musical fusion is essentially what constitutes the flow and foundational “heartbeat” of a variety of genres.

The two main clave patterns used in Afro-Cuban music are known in North America as son clave and the rumba clave. Both are used as bell patterns across much of Africa. Son and rumba clave can be played in either a triple-pulse (12/8 or 6
8) or duple-pulse (4/4, 2/4 or 2/2) structure. The contemporary Cuban practice is to write the duple-pulse clave in a single measure of 4
4. It is also written in a single measure in ethnomusicological writings about African music.

Although they subdivide the beats differently, the 12
8 and 4/4 versions of each clave share the same pulse names. The correlation between the triple-pulse and duple-pulse forms of clave, as well as other patterns, is an important dynamic of sub-Saharan-based rhythm. Every triple-pulse pattern has its duple-pulse correlative.

It was brought over to the Caribbean & United States from the slaves that were taken away from the Kongo Kingdom (Congo, Angola, Mozambique) and Upper West Africa (Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, etc).

Example of Cuba

In the United States, musician named Bo Diddley popularized the clave rhythm into R&B & Rock and Roll in the 1940's. The Bo Diddley beat is essentially a 3-2 clave rhythm. This beat is one of the most common bell patterns found in Afro-Cuban music and can be traced as far back as African music traditions.

Rock & Roll

^^ You can notice how the guitarist (Bo Diddley) and the drummer is playing the same beat as "Cavacha".

Hip Hop



^^ Play close attention to the clave percussion in the background



1:17 is where the clave rhythm takes over. Cavachaaaa

Congo Brazza

Ivory Coast

Congolese Music / Afrobeats sounds different with a live band
« on: January 13, 2019, 04:36 »
Ever notice how a live band transform a Afrobeat song? Same with Coupe Decale.

Wizkid actually helds a band for performances. Question, why don't the younger artists record live instead of using samples? Adding a bass guitar can add some "meat" to a track. We can see this with Fally's live version of Tokoss.

DJ Arafat has an amazing drummer. Imagine him on a sebene.

Congolese Music / Non-Congolese guitarists that can play sebene
« on: January 13, 2019, 04:18 »
Ivory Coast.  We have Kouadio Briscard aka "Vieux" Briscard. He's also known as the guy that played with Meiway until 2002. Also played with Loketo for 2 years.

For more...check out his sebenology

From Nigeria. Oliver de Coque (R.I.P.). Apparently, a Congolese guy named Piccolo taught how to play guitar.(

Imitating Luambo Franco

For more...check out his Sebenology. The other Nigerian guitarist that comes close to him Dan Opara and Godwin Kabaka. Check them out.

From Benin. We have Zoundegnon Bernard "Papillon" (RIP). He was guitarist for the colossal band, T.P. Orchestre Poly Rythmo. He also played keyboards and synth. The band plays a vary of Congolese Rumba & Soukous, Afro-Funk, Beninoise Folklore and Afrobeat 8)

You can find more on his sebenology

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