WOMAD 2015: Mbongwana Star

On July 19, 2015 by Tim Newman

Mbongwana Star

WOMAD 2015 is fast approaching. I’ve taken a little time to listen to the wealth of musicians who are set to be playing this year’s event. As ever, I have heard of very few of them. One of these new gems are Mbongwana Star.

Mbongwana Star hail from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The group was formed by the fiftysomething Ngambali and Nsituvuidi. They are both ex-members of the disabled Congolese world music group Staff Benda Bilili formed this new outfit after Staff Benda Bilili split in 2013 over management beefs.

Mbongwana - Star WOMAD 2016

Here’s a track from Mbongwana Star’s new album “From Kinshasa”. For this track they’ve teamed up Kinshasa musicians Konono No. 1 with their pulsing electric likembé; it gets my juices flowing good and proper. Mixing Congo classical sounds and vibes with a much more modern Western trip hop sound courtesy of producer Liam Farrell. I can imagine some of the purists in the crowd might be upset that Congolese musicians are being influenced by parties outside of their homeland. But it’s not up to them is it?

Here’s hoping rain doesn’t dampen Mbongwana Star’s fire:







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