Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Kinshasa Acoustic: Kawende et ses Copains

Kinshasa!, by Kawende et ses Copains (Plainisphare ZONE Z1, 1984), was the first of three LPs released in the mid-'80s by the Swiss recold label Plainisphaire. These pressings, all recorded in Kinshasa, in the country then known as Zaïre and today as the Democratic Republic of Congo, are notable for sounding not really very much like what is generally perceived as Congolese music at all! This is no reflection on their authenticy, though. I'm sure they're quite typical of the sort of genuinely popular Congolese music that is never recorded, or recorded but not considered "commercially viable" outside of the country.

The sound here is loose and unpolished, probably recorded in one take. The musicians are not slick but all the more affecting for that. I don't know who Kawende and his group are as the liner notes give little information. I'm sure you'll enjoy this!

Kawende et ses Copains - Kinshasa!

Kawende et ses Copains - Tshura

Kawende et ses Copains - Sawande

Kawende et ses Copains - Ekulusu

Kawende et ses Copains - Mtoto Mpotevou

Kawende et ses Copains - Kabibi

Kawende et ses Copains - Eh Ya Ele

Kawende et ses Copains - Tshingoma

Kawende et ses Copains - Sosange Mosi

Download Kinshasa! as a zipped file here. I will soon be posting the other two albums in this series, Nasiwedi (Plainisphare ZONE Z-4, 1985), by Orchestre Sim-Sim International, and Malo (Plainisphaire ZONE Z-5, 1986), by Ali & Tam's avec l'Orchestre Malo.


Matthew Lavoie said...

Thanks so much for posting this John. A friend had dubbed the three lps onto cassette for me twenty years ago. I lost the cassettes a few years ago and haven't heard these recordings in ages. I am excited to listen this again!! These recordings never circulated very much.

tane said...

This really doesn't sound much like the soukous/rhumba bands from that area that I'm used to, quite a great find - thank you :) Since you are the expert on Nigerian music, do you know if Sunny Risky's "Ikpon Owo" record has ever been found or posted in full on anywhere? All I can find is the one amazing song on Comb and Razor from years ago.

John B. said...

Hi Tane,

I don't have that Sunny Risky album and I'm not aware that it's ever been posted in full.


David Noyes said...

John, I have had the Ali & Tam's LP on Zone for many years and it's wonderful.
Thanks for this. I look forward to it!

Unknown said...


tane said...

Thank you for letting me know so fast. Also, could you please share the Shani Musical Club tape in full at some point, if possible? Old taarab stuff is so delightful but hard to come by. Thanks for everything.

LolaRadio said...

Thanks, John!
Ik heb er echt zin an.
peace upon you

John B. said...


Will do! I forgot that you asked me earlier.

robin said...

It's great to hear more variety of music, and this is a good one! Thanks!