African music blog post of the day: Konono No. 1

Konono No. 1 is a group originating from Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Kongo. They’re absolutely fascinating in that they take found items and likembé wired up to amplifiers and car batteries. Supplies include Super Glue and hubcaps. Most of the bands original band members had died due to the chaos of the Mobutu era and later the civil war but somehow they managed to regroup and become internationally reknown. They’re a great example of informal sector/DIY ethos that innovates on the basis of everyday experience and they don’t need high tech gear to produce a fascinating sound. I saw them once in San Francisco at the exploratorium and was completely blown away.

If you want to learn more check out the Afro-Popstory on Congotronics or this story from the UK Guardian. NPR has a story here.


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