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Album Review

The recording that introduced the kouassa-kouassa dance has been a runaway smash in Paris and Africa. Unsure why this has been one of the biggest hits in quite a while? Try Dibala on lead guitar, Lokassa ya Mbongo backing him up, and Pablo Lubadika on bass guitar, all of them in top form. Add KBM's admirable liking for a small tight group — aside from those mentioned, there's only synth, drum, and a two-voice backup vocal group. Kanda Bongo Man is one musician who almost always deserves the semi-adulation Western buffs have given him.


Born: 1955 in Inongo, Zaire

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Soukous, the dance music of Zaire, was updated by Paris-based vocalist and bandleader Konda Bongo Man. With his high tenor vocals alternating between lyrics in Lingala and French, Bongo Man and his band, which has included influential guitarists Diblo Dibala in the 1980s and Rigo Star in the 1990s, has sparked dancing in audiences around the globe. The New York Times wrote, "Zairean soukous is a lilting, rippling, dance groove that seems to smile from every register, with melody and rhythm inseparable....
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Sai, Kanda Bongo Man
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