Albums of the Month - July 2019


KOKOKO! - Fongola

Rough Trade Exclusive. Limited to 1200 copies on yellow vinyl with download code and bonus disc.

In the heart of Kinshasa, trawling the streets for plastic bottles, tin cans and hose pipes are KOKOKO!. This is how they make their instruments. One string guitars, water bottle drums and radio static percussion.

The collective (plus French electronic artists Débruit) have been inventing their own sound for years in the downtown clubs, highway intersections and block parties of Kinshasa. Just like their instruments made from old toasters, engine parts and oil drums, their sound is an invention of their own. The distorted, raw and burnt out noise is genre defying. If you ask them, they call it "tekno kintueni, zague stye or hot temperature music", but to you and me it is a hypnotic fever of DFA style dance punk, no-wave and electro played at fuse blowing levels.

From local hero Papa Wemba (AKA The King of Rumba Rock), to the likes of Wu Tang Clan, KOKOKO! have fused together a patchwork of influence that feels as sprawling and chaotic as the city that spawned them. Highlights include the angular post punk riffs that screech over African 2 step on Tongos'a while the mesmerising chant gurgles furiously. Azo Toke is a galvanising call and response over white noise, drum machines and rib-rattling synths.

The whole album sizzles with the heat of the Congolese sun, bursting at the seams, barely able to contain the energy. You can feel the sweat drip, hear the drums break and the voices crack as the crumbling building splits and shakes. This is the closest we may ever get to the dance clubs and block parties of Kinshasa, but on this record they are almost palpable.

Albums of the Month

2. Black Pumas - Black Pumas

3. black midi - Schlagenheim

4. Jordan Rakei - Origin

5. Kate Tempest - The Book of Traps and Lessons

6. Mattiel - Satis Factory

7. Olympia - Flamingo

8. Bad Breeding - Exiled

9. J Macfarlane's Reality Guest - Ta Da

10. Cagework - Cagework