Boketshu 1er - Bologna videos

Boketshu's gig in Bologna was totally incredible! I had planned to post videos of the show as soon as I'd be back home but my last night in Bologna was so ecstatic that I lost my camera in the plane. Someone found it back though (thank you!) so I'll be able to upload more videos and update this post soon. In the meantime, here come two first videos of the show... They were shot by my friend Mirco who was then standing behind the band, close to the guitar amps and the drums. (The next videos will be from the audience point of view). Here we go!

This band is addicted to coffee. I had seen Boketshu and his musicians playing very small scale shows in Brussels before but hearing them playing on this powerful sound system, live in Italy for the first time, and in such a different and new context for them was such a perfect experience... Getting high on espresso, travelling together, hearing them talking about music (their music as well as lap top music for instance), playing their forthcoming CD in the car while driving in the streets of Bologna made it even more perfect. I thought I was dreaming from the beginning til the end.

Thanks again to Boketshu (vocals), Cardinal Malula (guitar 1), Pappy Muntu (guitar 2), Jacquou Ilunga (bass), Alonso (drums) and Yannick Koy (percussions) for this amazing night! Thanks also to Andrea and Daniele from Netmage/Xing, Simone from the Palm Wine blog, Francesco and Michele from Locomotiv Club... for helping making this possible.


Boketshu 1er, Grand Prophète de la Nation live in Bologna tomorrow!

Less than one year ago, in February 2009, I went to this bar for the first time: Bayombe, also know as Chez Brigitte, erroneously called La Nouvelle Cité by a few of us. It's hard to describe such an exciting and chaotic place. In this small and lively congolese club located somewhere close to Brussels canal, every friday from 3 AM until 7 in the morning, Boketshu 1er and his group were the best band in the world playing the best music ever. For real. La Nouvelle Cité sadly burned down last Summer... and everyone who had the chance to experience this incredible place will miss it forever.

Thanks to Netmage Festival in Bologna, I’ve had the opportunity to invite Boketshu 1er, Grand prophète de la nation to play their very first Italian gig.

Per tre anni BOKETSHU 1ER e il suo gruppo è stata formazione residente del Chez Brigitte, un piccolo bar congolese di Bruxelles (che qualcuno chiamava erroneamente La Nouvelle Cité), caotico e informale, con tanti clienti ed un minuscolo dancefloor, vicinissimo al gruppo. Per i fortunati che hanno potuto viverlo, il La Nouvelle Cité rimarrà un posto mitico e magico che ha rappresentato il vero suono undeground della città e che - solo ogni venerdì, fra le 3 e le 7 del mattino - ha ospitato la migliore band al mondo: Boketshu e i suoi musicisti. E la ospiterebbe ancora a lungo, se nell'estate 2009, non fosse bruciato.

Nei suoi irresistibili concerti Boketshu suona la musica dal Congo inventata dai gruppi di rumba e soprattutto soukous degli anni '60 e '70 (Franco, Zaiko Langa Langa, Afrisa International, Orchestre Kiam...) con bellissimi assoli di chitarra elettrica e ritmi potentissimi. Boketshu 1er, membro fondatore e leader dei Swede Swede (storica band nata a Kinshasa nel 1985), ha portato con successo il suo mix di musica tradizionale e moderna in Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Gabon, Senegal, tanto quanto a Londra, Parigi, in Germania, Olanda. Il concerto di Boketshu 1er, in prima nazionale, è l'ultima scia di suoni e di immaginari di Netmage 2010.

The english (and approximate) translation of my Italian lines can be read on Netmage website.

Tomorrow Saturday Jan 23 around 1.30 AM Boketshu 1er, Grand prophète de la nation, Mwana Nzambe is playing at Locomotiv club, Bologna. All of you Italian people should be there! http://www.netmage.it/2010/netclub.html

R.I.P. Nouvelle Cité (picture Mathieu Breckes)


El Maalem Mahmoud Gania

Here you can download some of the greatest gnawa music ever recorded: Soiree au Canada, by the King El Maalem Mahmoud Gania.
My mom got this tape in 1978 - I was not born yet - during a trip to Morocco, where gnawa spirit and music are rooted. This may be already familiar to western audience, as Jace Clayton prophetically referred back in 2007 on his blog:

Gnawa music has flourished in the Western imagination completely out-of-scale with its popularity in Morocco, partly because of the basslines which can be appreciated in a dubby/reggae context by Western ears, and partly because of its backstory — the music of African slaves in the Maghreb, colonial music in the truest sense, Afro-Arab, ritual sounds used to cure snakebites & heal & cast out ill spirits in all-night ceremonies, etc.

I'd like to share this by the way and even to think about my mom while was choosing this tape at the Marrakech bazaar, completely unaware she was buying a rare piece of trance inducing music.

Check also my blog here:
Palm Wine


Kalambya Sisters 7"

The Kamba people live to the south and east of Nairobi. Their pop music is closely related to benga, but includes a second guitar that plays a melodious counterpoint to the primary guitar. The most popular Kamba pop bands arose in the middle of the 1970s. The Kalambya Sisters and their backing group, the Boys, have been popular performers in the Kamba area. (pasted from the www...)

I still feel totally stoked that i found this one a year or so ago in a dusty record store in Amsterdam.

Kenyan pop at its best!


Larry Heard Too Hot Mix 1986

(...) You see House is a feeling that no one can understand really, unless your deep into the vibe of House. House is an uncontrollable desire to jack your body. And as I told you before this is our House, and our House Music.

And every House should understand there is a keeper and in this House the keeper is Jack. Now some of you might wonder who is Jack and what is it that Jack does? Jack is the one who gives you the power to jack your body. Jack is the one who gives you the power to do the snake. Jack is the one who gives you the key to the wiggly worm. Jack is the one who learns you how to whop your body. Jack is the one that can bring nations and nations of all jackers together under one House.

You may be Black, you may be White, you may be Jew or Gentile. It don’t make a difference in our house, and this is fresh!

(Can You Feel It!, Mr. Fingers)


Downbeat in Biltmore 1985

Forward the bass!!! This 1985 sound system tape recording features the Downbeat crew at the Biltmore Ballroom NY. Sister Nancy, Johnny Osbourne, S Dread, Papa San, Early B, Briggy (aka Brigadier Jerry, pictured here above), Lone Ranger and Mikey Jarrett toasting it the hot way. Songs included are: "Fireworks", "Wake up in the morning", "I’m a girl watcher", "Walk on by", "It’s now or never", "I love you for sentimental reasons", "Ganja Man", "We are the children", "You don’t know what it means to be loved", "Oho here she comes", "You don’t remember me baby", "Are you coming?", "Start spreading the news", "Your face looks so good but your body ruins it". Heavy sounds from the Biltmore Era. C60 tape, two uncut 30 min tracks.