June 27, 2018

Jupiter & Okwess | Kin Sonic

ARTIST: Jupiter & Okwess
TITLE: Kin Sonic
LABEL: Everloving
In a just world, Jean-Pierre (Jupiter) Bokondji would be the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s first international rock star. In the world we actually live in, Jupiter has been scuffling for decades on Kinshasa’s fringe, making one-of-a-kind music that draws from the Congo’s immense variety of traditions and from Western rock, soul and funk. At age 53, his third album (released last year in Europe) is his first to gain distribution in the USA, and he played his first ever American gig in January. Jupiter & Okwess’ energy is palpable; this album bursts out the gate with its first three tracks – 1 is a bluesy rocker, 2 has a propulsive push-pull rhythm that will prevent you from standing still, and 3 is just a scorcher, everything you want from rock ‘n’ roll. They do have a low gear as demonstrated on the darkly beautiful 7 which is augmented by the violin of Warren Ellis from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Then it’s back to the races on 8, combining the best elements of tracks 2 and 3 into one superb song. And 10 features the same yearning harmonies as Okwess’ sister band, Staff Benda Bilili. This album is what rock ‘n’ roll ought to be, and it deserves your attention.
TOP TRACKS:    1    2    3    7    8    10
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    4    5    6    9    11

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