Cult Congolese band Konono No.1 collaborate with Lisbon’s Batida for double vinyl LP

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Electric thumb pianos and breakneck percussion with an electronic kuduro twist.

Masters of the electric thumb piano, Kinshasa’s Konono No.1 have joined forces with Angolan-Portuguese producer Batida for a new album of bass-driven afro-electro on Crammed Discs.

Originally from the Bakongo ethnic group from the border between the Congo and Angola, Konono No. 1 shot to international prominence following the release of their debut LP Congotronics in 2004, a DIY tour de force of reverb heavy mbira and rib-rattling percussive grooves that had everyone from Björk to Herbie Hancock up in arms.

A figurehead of Lisbon’s burgeoning electronic kuduro scene who’s previously released on Soundway, Batida invited Konono No.1 to his garage-cum-studio in the Portuguese capital to collaborate with a cast of the city’s cosmopolitan stars guitarist Papa Juju, vocalist Selma Uamusse and slam poet MC AF Diaphra.

Listen to ‘Nlele Kalusimbiko’ from the LP now:

Finding kinship in the poly-rhythms of Angola and the DRC via Lisbon, Konono No.1 Meets Batida was produced by Batida and Vincent Kenis and will be released on double vinyl (as well as CD & digital) via Crammed Discs on April 1st.

Check out the tracklist and artwork below:

konono no1_batida_album

1 Nlele Kalusimbiko
2 Yambadi Mama
3 Tokolanda
4 Bom Dia
5 Kinsumba
6 Nzonzing Família
7 Kuna America
8 Um Nzonzing

Watch our short film on Lisbon’s multi-cultural vinyl scene here and check out this in-depth introduction to Crammed Discs with founder Marc Hollander here.

Photo: Vera Marmelo