Saturday, May 19, 2007


Tambour d'Afrique will not be airing tonight. Stay tuned next week for a brand new episode. In the meanwhile let's talk about the term SOUKOUS.


Soukous is now just another term for "Congolese Music" whereas before it was a dance and sound from a particular era. This particular era birthed new and exciting turn for Congolese music though. There was a noticeable break from traditional rumba melodies and rhythms replaced by more traditional Congolese sounds and harmonies mixed with other genres of music like Soul & Funk.

The Late 60s, early 70s saw the introduction of a more pronounced SEBENE. As was stated in a past entry the sebene was reminiscent of a musical train. The drum beat out a repetitive pattern while the guitarists let you know the train was coming. The 1st and 2nd solo guitarists would 'combat' each other with notes both complimenting each other and competing with each other for the spot light. Pepe Felly is credited for popularizing this sound during his reign as Zaiko Langa Langa's lead guitarist. They were hip and exciting when they arrived on the scene and their dance moves which they let loose over the Sebene had a lot to do with that.

Another star of the Soukous Era is Gaby Lita Bembo and his orchestra Stukas du Zaire. Gaby Lita, as front man, was Mr. Excitement. He was known for his sharp vocals and inventive dance moves. Here he is singing Nale with his band:

This whole entry is inspired by a particular Stukas song, Lossikiya. I've been listening to this song a lot lately. It is very indicative of its time and is a superb example of Soukous. Guy has played this song on the show in the past. The song is about a man who is asking a woman by the name of Lossikiya for her hand in marriage. He's waiting for her answer and is stressed out. The sebene in this song is phenomenal to me (has that train feel I was talking about earlier) along with the lyrics to the song and the Ekonda vocal stylings. I love it.

Sorry for not having a show tonight. Guy had to be out of town but there will definitely be a new show next week so tune in. And thank you for your continued support of the site and radio show. PEACE


AFKAP of Darkness said...

man... when you look clips of these dudes when they were young turks, it's so easy to see what a shock to the system this style of music was!

even the way the camera focuses on the drum set shows how they shook things up (no pun).

ms bazu said...

lol true indeed.