Boomkat Product Review:
First ever reissue of Zazou Bikaye’s pioneering 1985 Afro-electro-pop album, reissued and expanded with singles and bonus unreleased cuts on Crammed Discs, including remixes by label boss Vincent Kenis + Marc Hollander (Aksak Maboul)
‘Mr. Manager’ is the 2nd album by Congolese vocalist/composer Bony Bikaye alongside French musician/producer Hector Zazou and modular synth wizards CY1 after their ‘Noir et Blanc’ debut in 1983, which saw reissue shine in recent years, along with their ’88 acid house funk turn, ‘Guilty!’.
Their follow-up feels very much of that swanging mid-‘80s era, just before computer grids took over, and captures a slick mix of soukous, synth-pop, and Afro-funk performed by a crack squad of Congolese and Belgian musicians/singers, including Tuxedomoon’s Luc van Lieshout on trumpet & harmonica, Vincent Kenis on guitar, three brilliantly soulful backing singers (Mwamba Kasuba, Nicole MT & M’Bombo K) and two percussionists (Chris Joris & Bigoune). Marc Hollander played a bit of sax and produced some of the recordings, alongside Hector Zazou, Vincent Kenis and engineer Gilles Martin. ‘80s groove fiends should be checking for slippery aces in the quicksilver rhythmelody of ‘Le Menteur (Mokosi)’, the brassy synth funk swerve of ’Sopa’, and the acid house remix of ‘Get Back (Longwa)’ by Per Martinsen (Symese, Mental Overdrive).