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Kasai Allstars

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Kinshasa, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the

It’s a reviewer cliché to claim that you never heard anything like it. For once, it’s actually true (The Times, UK)

…the sound of distortion zombies coming down the road to kill us all. It’s relentless… wonderful… (Pop Matters, USA)

Using a spectacular mixture of instruments, electric guitars, distortion-laden thumb pianos and soulful vocals, Kasai Allstars include musicians all based in Kinshasa, DR Congo, but originating from five different ethnic groups, each with their own language and musical tradition.

They draw their songs from festive and ritual music played in the bush before being banned by the Europeans, who considered the highly erotic dances and the pagan trance ceremonies as “satanic”.

Kasai Allstars is a collective revolving around 25 musicians from five bands, all from the Kasai region, but originating from five different ethnic groups: the Luba, the Songye, the Lulua, the Tetela and the Luntu. Some of these groups have endured conflicting relationships over the centuries, they each have their own culture, their own language and their own musical traditions, which were always thought to be incompatible until these musicians decided to pool their resources and form a “superband”.

Kasai Allstars’ music is powerful and sophisticated, driving and raw. It blends acoustic instruments with electric guitars, distortion-laden thumb pianos (with DIY amplification) and soulful vocals.

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