Monday, January 8, 2018

Le Phenomenal Souzy Kasseya

I've written in this space several times of my admiration for Souzy Kasseya, the brilliant Congolese session guitarist who scored something of a crossover hit in France in 1983 with his single "Le Téléphone Sonne." Jumping across the English Channel in '84, it was released at a 12" single by Earthworks (DIG 12" 004), which was how many of us first heard it. I wasn't aware at the time, though, that "Le Téléphone Sonne" originally appeared on an LP, Le Retour de l'As (Eska Production SK 001, 1983), a product of Richard Dick's prolific Afro-Rythmes machine, and that this was a different, and arguably better version:

Anyway, here is the single version, along with the B side, "Ulta Ntima Tony." Decide for yourself:

Download the single as a zipped file here. Following the success of "Le Téléphone Sonne," Earthworks licensed the LP Le Phenomenal (Eska International SK 84003, 1984) for release in the UK (as The Phenomenal, ELP 2008, 1985):

Download The Phenomenal as a zipped file here. Those who can't get enough of this great muscian are invited to browse the Likembe archives here. A compilation I did, African Divas Vol. 1, also features two tracks by Souzy with Tina Dakoury from Ivory Coast and Tshala Muana from the Congo. Le Retour de l'As is available as a download from Global Grooves here.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting again. i stopped checking this blog in 2016 and a year went by but i just checked and you're back ! Thank you from a young african born in the 90's. I appreciate your knowledge of our music culture. i will like to connect with you. Please drop me mail

Anonymous said...

Thanks, John. Much obliged.

Anonymous said...

Hi John,
I downloaded The Phenomenal but Mr Simon seems to cut out abruptly at 5m47s. Checked YouTube and someones uploaded a version that goes into a fade at 7m.38. Thank you anyway for the post. Early 80s Zaire was my favourite in the early 80s when I first became aware of music from the Congo but then I sort of went backwards & started loving 70s Zaire instead. Good to be reminded of the highlights as in this post

Unknown said...

OMG look who's back! Where have you been man? We missed you. Welcome back. I came back to check things out 'just in case' and here you are. Thanks.

John B. said...


Thanks for the heads up. You're right! Somehow, when I converted the .wav file to MP3 it was cut off. Dunno how that happened. It will take me a little while to correct the zipped file, but you can right-click and download the corrected individual track from the body of the post.

Unknown said...

Glad to see you back. Bon retour sur les octets. Merci de vos posts.