Kin Sonic

GB 050LP GB 050LP

LP version. 180-gram vinyl. Includes download code. With their second album, Kin Sonic, Jean-Pierre Bokondji aka Jupiter and his band Okwess transcend the Congo's unexplored musical heritage and dive into a pool of modernity. It's a work of perfect alchemy, enriched by contributions from Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, violinist Warren Ellis of Dirty Three and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Robert del Naja aka 3D of Massive Attack. Del Naja's input comes in the form of a unique and powerful album cover, the fee for which he decided to donate to an NGO called La Fondation Etoile du Congo de Madame Princesse Kibinda Mariam Rita, based in Lemba, the neighborhood in Kinshasa where Jupiter lives. At the beginning of the 1980s, Jupiter joined the band Famous Black, which later became Bongo Folk before finally settling on the name Okwess. Since then, Okwess has had many line-up changes but always kept the same captain at the helm. In 2006, a documentary called Jupiter's Dance, directed by Florent de la Tullaye and Renaud Barret, revealed this extraordinary personality to the world -- this Don Quixote who, in a dilapidated and abandoned environment, has fought stubbornly against the odds to keep his band alive. In 2013, the release of the album Hotel Univers gave Jupiter a certain international legitimacy as well as the opportunity to tour the world several times over. Its follow-up, Kin Sonic, features a reading by French actress and film director Sandrine Bonnaire (a Jupiter fan) of an extract from the book Bandoki (The Sorcerers) by Zamenga Batukezanga, an African philosopher and author with a vivid writing style who, though little known outside the Congo, was a familiar face in his neighborhood of Lemba, where he died in 2000. Thanks to the Congo's immense natural resources, half a century of independence resulted in the enrichment of a small handful of people and the impoverishment of everyone else, following a colonial era in which the seizure of natural wealth was the only rule. Just like Batukezanga's writing, Jupiter's lyrics focus on this painful past, and how to overcome it. Gathered around Jupiter are the Okwess faithful: Montana (of Staff Benda Bilili) on drums, Yendé on bass, guitarists Eric and Richard, and the singer Blaise. Produced by Marc-Antoine Moreau (Amadou & Mariam, Songhoy Blues) and François Gouverneur, Kin Sonic finds its voice in the exploration of a heritage that has remained totally hidden until now, and comes to take its place in a contemporary landscape where walls and borders are exploding in the face of a yearning to share moments of beauty and pure madness, all mixed up together.