Orchestre Les Mangelepa - Last Band Standing (2017)
World, Africa, Folk | 01:14:23 | MP3, 320 kbps | 170 MB
It starts with a horn fanfare, then eases into lilting Congolese rumba, Kenyan-style, with three singers backed by a rock-solid rhythm section, intertwining guitars and horns. From the opening bars of Kanemo, it’s evident that Orchestre Les Mangelepa are as potent today as they were in the 1970s, when they sported platform shoes and became dancefloor heroes across east Africa. Originally from eastern Congo, they moved to Nairobi and succeeded by mixing the massively popular music of their homeland with Kenyan influences and lyrics in Swahili. But despite their success in Africa, they didn’t tour in Europe until last year. This new studio album, their first for the international market, includes old favourites such as Maindusa, but also the new, keyboard-backed Ma Lilly, featuring the powerful, pained vocals of founder member Kabila Kabanze. After all these years, they deserve a new following in the west.