Boomkat Product Review:
Kinshasa’s DJ Finale smelts soukous, trap and Afrobeats with flexibly jazzy electronics in a uniquely expressive bounty for Nyege Nyege Tapes - RIYL Konono No.1, Nkisi, Metal Preyers.
Stepping on from his role in Fulu Miziki (Kinshasa’s Sekelembele-starring Afrofuturist band, who repurpose junkyard gear a la Konono No.1 and look like the Congo’s answer to Gwar) and a hotshot on NNT’s ‘L’Espirit De Nyege 2020’ set, DJ Finale speaks to the range of contemporary sounds from the DRC’s capital city with a genre-oblivious swagger on ‘Mille Morceau’. While the rhythms of soukous - a rumba-inspired mid C.20th import to West and Central Africa - underline the session, they refract into myriad lines of inquiry far beyond the DRC’s borders, with results that at times recall a sped-up Villalobos, or at others distinctly recall Nkisi’s black secret technology, or echo the energies of singeli from Tanzania, but also also make crucial room for much sweeter downbeat treats.
Where the links to soukous of yore are more instrumentally intact in the frenetic acoustic chops of his work with Fulu Miziki, in DJ Finale’s solo work they are mechanised and removed closer to contemporary electronic music. Fiends for hard, uptempo, club musics will no doubt be attracted to the propulsive acid freak ‘Kelekele’, and likewise hear similarities with the way Nebuchadnezzar is tweaking tech-house to hardcore templates in the lithe wriggle of ‘Padou Mixe’, while the latter’s ‘Padou Aass Mixe’ bends that style to slow-fast kongo-tekno dancehall, and ‘Tututoto Ngroungrou’ feels like syncopated makina.
But that’s just the fast stuff, as the LP equally tends to a range of other tempos and feels, from percolated jams like ‘Padou Basss 30’ that recall Nolan Reusse’s loose Afro-techno from Chicago, to Scratcha-like tump of ‘Likambo’, and sultry downbeats on ‘Savoir Vivre’ and ‘Marche Mixe’, or the tarraxho-esque ‘Moi Jesais’ comparable to the sweetest Nídia jams.