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Messages - Felo

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Great review Bencuri. I'm definitely going to try this.


 :o Caien Madoka is the only person who played more memorable rhythms than Durrel Loemba. That's an insult to Do Akongo, Zamwanagana, Lutumba Simaro and many others in the Congolese Music.... ahahaha Ramatoulaye souned better than Titina in albums, I advice you yo listen Kalayi Boeing (version orginale), Voyage, Filandu and Daddet very well.
By more memorable I don't mean better technically or more musically complex. I just mean that it stays in your memory longer. An example is Flame Kapaya's solos which are complex and sometimes impossible to execute but fade away from memory quickly, contrasted with Burkina Faso's which are simple, catchy, memorable. You just need to listen to Trance music and notice how four or five musical notes are turned into memorable melodies. So, to my point: Durrel Lomba's rhythms are more memorable that those of Wenge.

I did mention that Titina is a better drummer, but I was analyzing the songs and how the drums sounded overall. I must admit that the drumming in Dadet is the best in any rumba song, but then again Titina was not well quantized throughout that song.

Patient Kusangila and Alain Makaba played bass in the Titanic-album. Alain Makaba played the Lead-guitar in Barakuda, Omba, Likala Moto and Champion Kapangala
Who played lead in the generique Titanic? Mind mentioning which songs Makaba played bass in? I always thought it was Kusangila throughout.

Extra Musica wins it for me.

I want to look at it as an outsider, someone without background knowledge or allegiance to any of the bands. If you like, someone listening to their songs for the first time without being influenced by the history of the bands because Wenge has a richer history and starts from a point of advantage. I'm going to analyze the bands in sections.

Starting with the songs, it mainly depends on how many times one has listened to the songs or under which circumstances. Both had fantastic and memorable songs. I personally have listened to more of Wenge's songs and I came to love Congolese music through Wenge's music, but I have a special place in my heart for Extra Musica's music, especially with the melancholic introduction of Papy Bastin. I love the album Trop chest Trop. In terms of the songs and albums, its a draw for me.

When it comes to the individual artists and how they played in the songs, it is debatable. Whereas Titina is the more talented drummer, Rama sounded better in Extra's songs and wins here. While Makaba is much more gifted as a soloist, Roga Roga managed to produce excellent solos as well and loses to Makaba only marginally. When it comes to rhythm guitar, Durell wins over Ficare or whoever was playing for Wenge. For me in Congolese music, only Caen Madoka plays more memorable rhythms than Durell did. And Espe's bass always sounded really nice, easily matching Masela or Kusangila, perhaps helped by the fact that Rama was so good on drums. (Many foreign drummers I know struggle to roll drums like Rama does and respect him for that.) So for instrumentalists its Extra 2(rhythm and drums), Wenge 1 (solo) and one draw (bass).

To the vocals and again Extra wins it here for me. Since they came later, they will always be seen as though they were copying Wenge, but even if they did, Extra had better singers. Going down the scale, Herman sounds better than Werra (who I heard being referred to as faux chante in this forum); Doudou Copa is miles better than Adolphe; Oxygen sings better than Blaise Bula. For Wenge JB Mpiana beats Guy Guy Fall or QM; and Amelia's tenor is perhaps better than Papy Jah. Alain Mpela is the better singer but Papy Bastin has more emotion so its a draw here for me. So Extra 3, Wenge 2 with 1 draw.

I don't necessarily mean that whoever wins is a better musician or performer. I'm only judging by how they sounded or played in their songs as my main interaction with these two bands is through listening to their songs. So, as controversial as this may sound: Extra Musica was the better band.

Alain  Makaba is a complete artist he can play perfectly drums, percecussions, keyboard(he played it the albums Bouger-Bouger, Kin E Bouger, Pleins Feux, Anges Adorables vol. 1 & 2), rhythm guitare and bass-guitare(He used to be a bass-guitarist before and he played it in the Titanic-album and many times after the Wenge-split).

I need some info here. Who played bass guitar in Titanic? And on which songs did Alain Makaba play solo guitar?

My two cents, put the two bands toe to toe on stage and Roga roga will top the show...

You really know how to offer two cents' worth... :)

« on: April 10, 2015, 21:02 »
Why do people use autotune again?

Congolese Music / Re: MY FIRST ALBUM: Honest Reviews Needed
« on: April 10, 2015, 20:44 »
Following Zaiko's advice, I've changed the sounds of the guitars on all songs and I must admit they now sound a lot better than before. Am now making final adjustments. Any further suggestions will be greatly welcomed.

Congolese Music / Re: MY FIRST ALBUM: Honest Reviews Needed
« on: April 03, 2015, 20:28 »
Prince Sab, those songs are very nice and the production is excellent. Do you play any part in the music by any chance? We could collaborate some time. I know what you mean by varying the style. You may notice how much effort I put into ensuring that all my songs sound different from each other without losing my basic style and identity. It is perhaps the hardest thing to do when producing an album.

I'm looking forward to your other comments. Please let me know in what ways I can improve this project or individual songs before publishing.

Congolese Music / Re: MY FIRST ALBUM: Honest Reviews Needed
« on: April 03, 2015, 20:19 »
Mwokonzi Wangu is powerful im repeating that one again  :)
Am glad you like it. It does help me know what style to put more effort in going forward.

Congolese Music / Re: MY FIRST ALBUM: Honest Reviews Needed
« on: April 03, 2015, 20:11 »
I skimmed through the album. Overall especially for a first try, I think its pretty good. I dont speak the language but Im going off of the music and the overall sound of the words. I like the jazzy approach you took with Etaro. Play around with guitar effects to get alternate sounds between songs too.  The sebene at the end of Mwokozi Wangu reminds me of Bana Ok, sounds great.

Do you play the drums yourself or is it done through software alone?

Thanks a lot for your kind comments. The language is Swahili with one song, Roche, in my traditional Kisii language. I must admit that jazz is a tough genre to crack; it has really helped me develop my musicianship. I was initially not sure whether I should alter the tone of my Ibanez Artcore Jazz guitar, but now that you mention it I'll go through my effects and amps to try and get different sounds between songs; it could easily get tiring listening to the same tone. Thanks for that observation. Am humbled that you compare sections of my songs to greats like Bana OK.

Now with the drums, you are making me reveal a secret. I don't play drums. I play the percussions though. It has taken me four frustrating years of struggling to create authentic drum sounds. I even bought an electronic drum set but I've struggled to find a reliable and willing drummer to help me out. I finally found a way around it: I spend hours on end adjusting and readjusting pre-recorded samples from some of the world's finest drummers who have used technology to avail this skills to studio engineers. None of them is African and that is why it takes me even more time to get the African beat I so much crave. For now technology has got me out of a tough spot. In future I hope to build my own band.

Congolese Music / Re: MY FIRST ALBUM: Honest Reviews Needed
« on: April 03, 2015, 19:54 »
Thanks a lot Bencuri for adding the Soundcloud embedding function. Here are the rest of the songs, in no particular order.

Indeed there are many unscrupulous promoters here in Kenya. But in this case I wonder who should take the blame. From that article is sounds like Davido himself is culpable.

Congolese Music / Re: MY FIRST ALBUM: Honest Reviews Needed
« on: April 02, 2015, 16:40 »
Admins: how can I embed Soundcloud music directly onto this forum like we do for Youtube videos? Their embedding link doesn't work.

Here is another song:

Congolese Music / MY FIRST ALBUM: Honest Reviews Needed
« on: April 02, 2015, 07:41 »
Hello good people. I haven't been active in this forum, but now you know why: I've been using most of my spare time working on my album. I started this project four years ago. I spent most of the early days learning how to play the guitar. I then learnt how music is put together in general. Lastly I learnt music production. The compositions have been ongoing during that process and I have been recording myself along the way, while setting up a recording studio - a home one and a mobile one since I'm constantly on the move. I have managed to finish producing my first album of ten songs. I've experienced considerable difficulty mainly with time, personnel and funds. I've been helped largely by technological advancement even though I worked hard to retain authenticity, and that is something I will strive to achieve even more in future albums.

By no means am I an established musician yet (by my approximation I need ten more years to get there). I still consider myself a beginner in music in general. In any case I do music as a hobby, but, since I do it with so much passion, it is leading me towards professionalism and one day I might just decide to switch careers and do music full-time.

In the past I have been a critic of songs and albums and I wrote extensive reviews in our former forum Vibes d'Afrique, praising excellence and denouncing mediocrity. I now put myself on the firing line. I want to be judged by you, music lovers out there. Chances are you don't know me so, to quote the Soundcloud community guidelines: "Criticize, but do it constructively. Criticism can be really valuable, but only when it’s done constructively. So, please share your opinions, but before posting anything, ask yourself 'Would I appreciate receiving the same comment?'."

There are ten songs in total, many of which are in a style that might be appreciated by members of this forum. I'm going to upload them through Soundcloud and link them here one at time. Since this is not the very final product and I am in a position to make any changes in recording, mixing or mastering, please let me know your opinions and if there are any changes I should make to improve the songs. Special thanks to DJ Sly who gave me invaluable comments when this project was in its infancy. Thanks to all of you in advance. So here is the first upload:

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