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Messages - Zaiko

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« on: April 17, 2015, 22:03 »
There always seems to be something really lacking when artist perform without a band behind them.  To me it really loses its feel and becomes really watered down.

Durel was allowed to shine a bit more in Extra's older albums.  Listen to songs like Chagrin Plus Plus, Djeu le etenel etc. When he became lead when Extra split his sound was pretty good too.
I think the argument mvulsusi96 made about Caien Madoka and DUrel can be argued about RogaRoga and Alain Makaba.  I think Roga's solos stick better like that from Etat Major, Losambo, Chagrin Plus and even the stuff from today.  Makaba is the better skilled and complex player.

Congolese Music / Re: MY FIRST ALBUM: Honest Reviews Needed
« on: April 02, 2015, 20:26 »
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?

Thats another point I forgot to make in favor of extra musica...I cant think of another atalaku that has a sound like Kila Mbongo.

@RogaRoga, I have to part with you when you dare say that Roga roga is a better guitarist/musician vs Alain Makaba. They Alain's skill level surpasses RR by miles. RR's solos may be catchy but they are very similar and very easy to do. Makaba's work varies and he is a much talented musician as a whole.  Ive watch concerts where Makaba plays some of the most difficult things of other musicians and his own with ease perfectly or even better. Then like mbulusi96 said, he arranges and plays other instruments too, and is a better singer. As a total musician, there is not a single Congolese person I can think that is on Makaba's level.

With all that said, Extra as a whole was the better band. ;D

In terms of line up, I still wouldnt necessarily agree that they copied them.  Again Im young and not Congolese so I dont know the dynamics of the early days so I am speaking purely in terms of what I see today (especially living in the States). Many bands have similar type of line ups, Im referring to the sound the band produces.  Extra Musica has one of the most distinctive sounds vs any other congolese band. Today many other Brazza bands copy RogaRoga's sound but it is theirs.  When I listen to songs like Chagrin plus plus, Freddy Nelson, Losambo, Obligatoire and even Roga Rogas songs today, no one does it like them.  The only downside I see to the group that Wenge has over them in terms of sound is they dont evolve their sound much within an album or even album to album.  They havent gone through nearly as many musicians as Wenge and its clans have gone through either.

Roga Roga is not a better guitarist than Makaba but many of his solos can go toe to toe with Makaba's.  Durel is better than Ficarre.

Some of you all say that Extra copied Wenge, I cannot agree with this at all.  When you listen to the sound of Extra Musica it is the most unique of any Congolese band I've ever heard. I dont have to hear any words, just give me the first 30 sec of the song and I can tell its them. Wenge, not so much so. Im looking at this all through the eyes and ears of a non Congolese person living in the States.
I think if you were to go down the line and compare each person/aspect of the band Wenge would be the winner but as a unit Extra was the better band in my opinion.  Their downside has and continues to be that the sound hasnt really evolved much since the days of Etat Major. On this side of the atlantic and Im sure across West Africa, Extra's songs are much bigger hits. To this day you can play Etat Major in any African party and people still go crazy...(almost 20years later!).  Ive said it before but when it comes to the heavy sound, Extra is the clear winner.

Why are we talking about Viva?  ;D

Congolese Music / Re: New bands formed by unknown artists
« on: February 20, 2015, 18:22 »
I just replied to another post asking the same question.  Some of the best congolese bands are only known to youtube for the most part.  A few weeks ago I watched a clip by some gospel group called ADM.  I dont know where they are based but everything Ive every heard from the band displays a much higher level of talent (guitar/bass/drumming/keyboards) vs any other Congolese group Ive ever heard.  The melodies they produce have pushed the bar higher in terms of complexity and innovation to the sebene.  I always ask myself why groups like that arent more popular among the people..

Congolese Music / Re: What Happened to Congolese Music?
« on: February 20, 2015, 18:16 »
I agree with pretty much everything that both bencuri and EMOBCBG said...especially that the last great group to come out of DRC is Wenge.  Everyone else for the most part is a branch of Wenge.  Why is it so hard for someone to come from nowhere and make it in the Congolese market? Think about some of the top artists of the past 15 years (Werrason, JB, Fally, Ferra, Fabregas etc) they all have come from a branch of Wenge. Today's starts are pretty much from Wenge, Viva la Musica, or Zaiko.

I am located in the USA and I can tell you that Nigerian, Ivorian, and Ghanaian musicians absolutley dominate the African music scene here. Grandted that there are far larger numbers of them vs the Congolese community but it was not always the case. 10 years ago in the hayday of Awilo, Extra Musica, JB and others it was king. As mentioned by Bencuri, Ivorians took the music, called it something else and the Nigerians/Ghanaians took from them and rebranded it new school highlife.

How can the Congolese regain that dominance again or is that it?

Congolese Music / What Happened to Congolese Music?
« on: February 20, 2015, 02:20 »
Over the past few years, there seems to have been a bit of an emergence of West African music (mostly Ivory Coast/Ghana/Nigeria) that has dominated the airways across the board...a position if Im not mistaken was once held by Congolese musicians when it came to music from Africa.  I believe that most if not all have a foundation of their styles/genres based in Congolese artist of past and present. Many of these artist have managed to move out of their own market and gain popularity among the non African crowds including westerners and the Caribbean.  What makes their music seem more marketable now vs before?  What do you all think is the cause of it? 

Congolese Music / Who is most important in a group
« on: February 20, 2015, 02:09 »
Another question Ive wondered for a long time...who really makes the band?  I have seen in the past with many groups how various elements seem to make or break a group but in modern music, that seems to have shifted a little more so away from the soloist and into the atalaku's hands. What do you all think and why?

Congolese Music / How do people judge the music?
« on: February 20, 2015, 02:04 »
I listen to alot of Congolese music, old and new but I do not understand Lingala and my French isnt so great.  I always wonder what makes something a hit song or not.  To me many of the most popular vocalist sound wise dont really cut it but theyre still "the best".   Many times Ive heard tracks where I thought man this must be a total hit but it isnt as popular as I though it would be.  There also seems to be a genuine lack of interest in music from Congo-Brazza, why is that?  In my opinion, some of their artist produce music (instrumentally speaking) far better than many of the Congo-Kinshasa groups but they dont seem to be as popular.

-In a nutshell, what makes a group/song popular in you guys' ears?

On second thought, that band is probably one of the best Ive ever heard in their arrangement, progressions and skill.

The band is top notch, better than many secular groups Ive heard. I dont know, there is something about female lead singers in this style of Congolese music that just doesnt seem to fit.  I dont know if its just being used to hearing a masculine voice but I think thats whats lacking.  Theres another group called Heriters du Crust or something like that I think has an overall better sound simply because they have that masculine voice leading them

Sounds like you've progressed a bit since the first posting.  I dont know how youve been learning so far but I have a few tips on what helped me. If you have any questions feel free to ask

-Learn the basic chords and scales. Majors and Minors and the different ways of playing them. This is key to understanding the structure of all music especially Congolese music.  Most songs will follow the same patterns...literally. ie 1-4-5, 1-5-4-5 etc
-Building from the last point, learn basic theory, like when I say 1-4-5, that applies to any key you play in. The notes are different but the patterns for the most part are the exact same thing. 
-When you get some of that down try playing the chords and scales to the various songs and you will see how much they sound and play the same way.  The main thing that really distinguishes the music of most Congolese music in particular is the arrangement and maybe the solo...otherwise its the same thing.

Im not of Congolese origin but I've grown to love the music and while Im not an expert Im still learning after 5 years at it.  Check out my page...just did my own replay of some of my favorite Wenge solos:

pfff always the same style....
this nothing if you compare it with generics of Etat Major, Shalai, Obligatoire or La Main Noire.

Those songs seemed more like full tracks where as this one seems more like a groove.  If your're comparing the groove of the track alone, this is better than all of those excet Etat Major.

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