Boomkat Product Review:
Crammed yield a frankly stunning array of remixes, reworks and cover versions of the influential Congotronics collection from a veritable who's who of contemporary electronic, dance and indie music. It's undoubtedly one of the most vital dialogues between Western and tradi-modern West African musical cultures in years, practically unprecedented in its scope and quality. The skillfully curated list of contributors includes (among others) Shackleton, Mark Ernestus (of Basic Channel/Maurizio fame), Michachu & The Shapes, Optimo, Juana Molina, Deerhoof, Animal Collective, and Wilco's Glenn Kotche, all treating the original music, predominantly from Kasai Allstars and Konono No.1, to wonderfully diverse and joyful revisions. Their infectious electrified traditional music is exported to all corners of the musical map, from the dread dubbed throb of Mark Ernestus's 'Maskikulu Dub', to the pastoral breeziness of Aksak mabouls' 'Land Dispute' version, blurring the distinctions between homage, remix and cover version in fine style. From the first few listens a few tracks really stand out; Wilco's Glenn Kotche gives a sparkling rendition of Konono No.1's 'Traducteur de Transmission', really taking the electro-trad sound to heart with a droning, sub-weighted and delicately psychedelic version, while Juana Molina infuses Kasai Allstars with her sublime naif vocals, and Animal Collective obviously relish the opportunity to re-imagine Kasai Allstars in the immersive 'Quick As White'. A crucial project, beautifully executed. Highly recommended!