Magazine article New Internationalist

Très Très Fort

Magazine article New Internationalist

Très Très Fort

Article excerpt

Très Très Fort

by Staff Benda BiIiIi [Crammed Discs, CRAW 51 CD)

Let's talk about Congolese resourcefulness. First there was Konono No 1, who built their own instruments and made extraordinary music; now, also from Kinshasa, welcome to Staff Benda BiIiIi. This eight-strong group of varying ages share the DIY talents of Konono. For example, Roger Landu plays an electric lute of his own invention, called the satongé, fashioned from a tin can. But what is truly astonishing is that the band - and its début album - exists at all. For Staff Benda BiIiIi is a group of shegues handicapés (disabled homeless people) living on the streets of Kinshasa.

The music on Très Très Fort reflects reality. The songs were recorded in the open, with electricity abstracted from a local restaurant. …

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