Friday, June 14, 2024

Pioneers of Kinshasa’s sonic revolution, KOKOKO! have enraptured international audiences with their distinctive sounds and dynamic stage presence since 2017. Their achievements include winning the best live band award from AIF, performing on NPR Tiny Desk and Boiler Room stages, gracing renowned festivals such as All Points East, SXSW, Green Man, and Pitchfork Festival, and landing tracks on both Grand Theft Auto and FIFA soundtracks.

Their debut album, Fongola, received widespread acclaim, with DJ Mag hailing it as “truly one-of-a-kind” and The Guardian recognizing the group as a “powerful new force” in music. Few days ago, KOKOKO! unveiled their highly awaited second album, “BUTU”, set to release on July 5th via Transgressive Records. In celebration of this announcement, KOKOKO! also shared the album’s lead single, “Mokili,” and revealed plans for a London performance on October 1st at Village Underground.

The vibrant nightlife of the Congolese city served as the inspiration for “BUTU”, which translates to ‘the night’ in Lingala. This experimental album delves deep into the pulsating energy of the bustling locale, celebrating the joyful and innovative essence of its inhabitants. Led by vocalist Makara Bianko and produced by Xavier Thomas, also known as Débruit, this sequel to Fongola sees the group embracing a more electronic, lively sound.

“BUTU” encapsulates the frenzied atmosphere of the city’s nightlife, with equipment pushed to its limits, reverberating through saturated and distorted speakers, echoing the rhythmic interplay of nocturnal sounds. Drawing from field recordings captured during the evenings and incorporating “ready-made percussion” such as detergent bottles, the band subjects the sounds to distortion to capture the essence of the nocturnal experience.

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