Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)
When Kasai Allstars began releasing music close to 15 years ago, they represented something completely new in the Democratic Republic of Congo: a musical troupe bringing together members of five different ethnic groups, all from the Kasaï region, but with different musical traditions previously thought to be incompatible. The result was an exhilarating blend of complex rhythmic patterns and melodies which struck a chord with music lovers and artists all over the world.
Kasai Allstars’ new record Black Ants Always Fly Together, One Bangle Makes No Sound centers around the very idea that was the basis of their success all those years ago: that unity is strength. The title brings together two traditional proverbs that express the importance of cooperation and mutual support, and many of the album lyrics revolve around this theme. “Olooh, a War Dance For Peace” pays tribute to traditional war dances performed in villages to resolve conflicts peacefully, while “Unity is Strength” and “Hunters and Farmers Need The Blacksmith” highlight the value of community.
The album, which features many of Kasai Allstars’ original musicians but is the first to be produced by guitarist Mopero Mupemba, further expands the collective’s musical scope by including sounds from neighboring regions, and complementing the band’s trademark electric guitars, call and response vocals, and distorted ikembe with intricate electronic elements, further transcending any imaginary barriers.