14 mei 2011

Congotronics vs Rockers: music's the winner @ Les Nuits in Cirque Royale

After Sufjan Stevens' preview on Tuesday, Congotronics vs Rockers again used the size of the Cirque Royale's stage to its best advantage on Les Nuits Botanique's official opening night. Getting 20 musicians on stage is challenge enough but having so many play together can run the risk of losing balance and descending into cacophony.

No such danger here, however, as the bands jelled together seamlessly to produce hypnotic grooves that got the whole crowd smiling and swaying. Vincent Kenis the man behind the Congotronics label took live duties on bass with the rhythm section of Konono No1 and John Dieterich of Deerhoof on drums.

The music is sometimes closer to Congolese styles - backed only by traditional percussion rather than a drumkit. Tandjolo from Kasai Allstars playing a slit-drum while Les Hoquets joined in enthusiastically on improvised percussion instruments. At other times it veers closer to indie rock. I especially liked the catchy number sung by Satomi Matsuzaki of Deerhoof.

Deerhoof vs. Kasai Allstars - Travel Broadens The Mind by Crammed Discs

The dual guitar attack of Deerhoof's John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez, battled it out with Mopero of Kasai Allstars and twin thumb pianos distorted (through a fuzzbox?) to produce a beguiling hybrid version of the circular chiming guitar patterns we know from West African pop.


The line-up changed around for each song. Muambuyi of Kasai Allstars took turns to share lead vocals with Juana Molina, Matt Mehlan of Skeletons and Mariam Wallentin of Wildbirds & Peacedrums - but most tracks were also filled out by excellent three-part harmonies.

Those of us lucky enough to be in the crowd were swept away with the energy and enthusiasm. High energy dancing culminated in a unique mimed stage exit on an invisible motorbike with two passengers.

'Congotronics vs Rockers' sounds like a boxing match but this was no culture clash or time for winners and losers - the result was more like a high-scoring draw, with lots of skill and entertainment and where everyone goes home happy:

Congotronics 10 : Rockers 10


19:37 Gepost door Villette in Concerten, Foto's | Video's, Recensies | Commentaren (0) | Permalink |  Facebook |

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