Now Staff Benda Bilili's sparkling debut album Tres Tres Fort has been released, produced by none other than Crammed's Vincent Kenis (who also brought us Konono No. 1 and Kasai Allstars). If you're familiar with those outings, you won't be surprised to learn about the group's homemade instruments (many solos are played on a one-stringed tin-can lute/guitar). The group's story is more unusual than its music, which isn't too far from the Afro-Cuban blend of many other Congolese groups. But their unique story, instruments, and obstacles to success make this an album well worth checking out. Marvel at their resilience, read how their lyrics influenced the last Congolese election, and move to the languorous rumba-funk grooves.
More Staff Benda Bilili:
myspace (with song samples)