"Beware the Fetish"
2CD + LP

They're are back to rattle your bones with their CONGOTRONICS sound: hidden inside this tame photo of a blue likembe is a collection of over 100 minutes of wild, trance-inducing, raw intensity by the mythic collective from Kinshasa, DRC.

This music is not for the faint-hearted: PLAY IT LOUD!

"Beware The Fetish" is the long-awaited second album by the mindblowing, Kinshasa-based musicians' collective, whose debut album "In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish And Ate The Head Of His Enemy By Magic" made a lasting impact on the imagination of artists and music lovers worldwide

This double-CD contains 12 tracks, clocking in at over 100 minutes: Kasai Allstars otherworldly music requires no less than complete and lengthy immersion! It is not advised to try and listen to this record as background music (especially on tiny computer speakers)…

As the band's aficionados already know, the core of Kasai Allstars consists of fifteen musicians from five bands, all from the Kasai region, but originating from five different ethnic groups, whose relationships have often been conflictual in the past. They each have their own culture, language and musical traditions, which were always thought to be incompatible until these musicians decide to transcend their differences and work together. Kasai Allstars draw their songs from festive/ritual music which used to be played in the bush before being banned, because of the allegedly scandalous aspects of the erotic dances and the re-enacted pagan trance rituals, which were viewed as being unholy, even satanic.

"Beware The Fetish" presents a broader scope of Kasai Allstars' music, probing deeper into the musicians' repertoires and styles, with the help of a large array of guests. The band use their trademark mixture of traditional instruments (slit & buzz drums, xylophones), electric guitars, and distorted thumb pianos with DIY amplification (such as the giant bass likembe which adorns the cover). Some songs showcase rocking & intertwining guitars, some others include a higher proportion of acoustic percussion or likembes, and they all feature arresting vocal performances by a cast of charismatic singers including Kabongo, Muambuyi, Tshimanga, Mi Amor, Tandjolo, Grand Prêtre, and the late, lamented Mbuyamba Nyunyi. The lyrics of the songs tackle matters such as sorcery, social commentary and traditional wisdom.

Admiration for Kasai Allstars and Konono No.1 has been widespread among Western indie rock and electronic musicians (not forgetting hip hop figures such as Saul Williams and ?uestlove). This led to the Congotronics tribute album "Tradi-Mods vs Rockers" (2010), in which the likes of Animal Collective, Juana Molina, Shackleton, Deerhoof, Aksak Maboul and others presented covers and reworks of Kasai Allstars' music.

In 2011, Kasai Allstars were involved in the Congotronics vs Rockers collaborative project, in which ten Congolese and ten indie rock musicians got together to create a spectacular live band. Having already honed their transcultural collaborative skills within their band, Kasai Allstars members were more than ready to collborate with the likes of Deerhoof, Konono No.1, Juana Molina… and they literally stole the show (as attested by disc B of this set) during this superband's breathtaking appearances at several major European & Japanese festivals.

Just like all other albums in the Congotronics series, Beware The Fetish was produced, recorded & mixed by Vincent Kenis.

The album also comes out as a limited–edition, single vinyl LP, comprising 6 of the CD/digital tracks, plus one vinyl-only exclusive track, and a download code for the full 12-track version

Kasai Allstars are:

'Mi Amor' Mputu Ebondo: vocals, lead vocals (A2)
'Muambuyi' Ntumba Ngalula: vocals, lead vocals (A1, A3)
Kabongo Tshisensa: likembe, lead vocals (A4, B1, B4, B6)
'Grand Prêtre' Kalubi: lead vocals (A4, B4)
Tandjolo Yatshi: lokombe (slit drum), lead vocals (A6)
Tshimanga Muamba: resonator drum, lead vocals (B3)
Kalenga Ditu: likembe, lead vocals (B1)
'Baila' Tshilumba: xylophone
Didi Bafuafua: xylophone
Mopero Mupemba: electric guitar
'Bondis' Kabese Ngandu: lead vocals (A5)
Yempongo Kadiya: vocals, dancing
Ngalula Ndaye Sylvie: vocals, dancing
Bosio Tokala Mamie: vocals, dancing
'Kanku' Nshinga Wa Buanda: vocals, dancing
and the late Mbuyamba Nyunyi: bass likembe, lead vocals (B1)

Guests include members of the original bands who make up Kasai Allstars, including Basokin (on A2, A5, B5), Sankayi (A3, B3), Masanka (A4, B4), Dibua Dietu (B2), and Orchestre Tandjolo (A6), as well as, on track B6, Congotronics vs Rockers (B6) featuring members of Konono No1, Deerhoof, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Matt Mehlan from Skeletons, and Juana Molina.

Performed, written & arranged by Kasai Allstars
Produced, recorded and mixed by Vincent Kenis

A1 > B5 recorded in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2010 > 2013
B6 recorded live during the Congotronics vs Rockers tour, July 2011

This album is dedicated to the memory of Mbuyamba Nyunyi Elias.

Singer and dancer extraordinaire, poet, composer, Mbuyamba Nyunyi ("the Bird") (1948-2011) moved from his native Kasai to Kinshasa in the late 60s to lead Orchestre Sankayi, which later merged with Kabongo’s Orchestre Masanka to create Masanka Sankayi, which was to become the most famous exponent of tradi-modern music from Eastern Kasai. He also conceived and built many electric thumb pianos of all sizes, each new model being for him the occasion to re-invent his music. On track B1, recorded  shortly before his unexpected death, Mbuyamba plays a bass likembe he built himself, which is seen on the album cover. Mbuyamba was one of the key figures in the Kasai Allstars collective. His presence is deeply missed.

From the press on Kasai Allstars' previous album

“Endlessly inventive... their blend of bustling thumb pianos, ecstatic chants and otherworldly rhythms is a long, gleeful trip into the surreal”
Rolling Stone, US

"The real future primitive... Primeval rock, made of vocal stratas, offbeat rhythms, able to suck in anything that comes into contact with its great, ritualized whirlwind. This music is invincible"
Les Inrockuptibles, France

“They have that sames dynamism [as Konono N°1] plus a similarly brutal rhythm section which sounds like a billion wasps playing Sister Ray in your brain…Imagine if My Bloody Valentine had been produced by Lee Perry”
Mojo, UK

“A vital addition to the Congotronics series, and anyone who's enjoyed the series so far needs to hear it… an excellent, diverse recording that adds a fantastic new chapter to an already fascinating story”
Pitchfork, US

“A joyous whirlwind… Every track has the DNA of rock, blues or contemporary music embedded in it”  
Independent on Sunday, UK

"A long, gleeful trip into the surreal"
Rolling Stone, US

“A startling blend of the primitive and avant-garde... the character of a James Brown funk groove played on Harry Partch's bizarre percussive battery…music rarely gets as sensuous “
The Independent, UK

“This remarkable and futuristic-sounding band from the Congo breathtakingly re-imagines Rock n’ Roll from the ground up. The music burns with an energy, joy, beauty, strangeness and ingenuity that shows just how tragically jaded, self-referential and creatively bankrupt western rock music has become”                             

“A moving testament to the human capacity for improvisation and co-operation that somehow persists amid the turbulent circumstances of the Congo… this amazing album unfolds with a sensuous logic that cannot be constrained”
Observer Music Monthly, UK

"This is fantastical - even psychedelic - roots music"
PRI’s ‘The World’  programme

“A bit of varsity gold for Crammed Discs' Congotronics series… some of this work could give meticulous techno producers a run for their money… the Allstars let the rhythm section breathe and get funky with indigenous instrumentation. No distortion necessary”
Dusted, US

“Allstars is not a rhetorical device intended to make them sound awesome…they are the best of five different bands from five different ethnic groups in the Kasai region who've decided that the world is mentally ready for overwhelmingly shredding electric guitar/thumb piano/lokole/likembe/xylophone/resonator drum/mult-vocalist dance numbers. We are ready. You are ready”
Fader, US

“This is rock sucked back to the continent of its birth to be granted a glorious resurrection (...) Rhythmic, pounding, charged and hypnotic…the Allstars manage to combine the ancient festive and ritual music of their homeland with a post-rock sensibility…a reminder of the boundless limits of music itself”
Word, UK

“The Allstars continue the Congolese tradition of producing some of the wildest and most unusual sounds on the planet… exhilarating, edgy and at times downright spooky - especially when played very loud, as recommended”
The Guardian, UK

“This isn’t the “world music” that sounds a bit like the blues. It is, however, eerily familiar: circling, repetitive, polyrhythmic patterns that have echoes in contemporary classical music as well as in electronica. It’s mesmerising stuff. Listen to it long enough and you’ll believe a man can turn into a fish”
Sunday Times, UK


KASAI ALLSTARS - Beware the Fetish
Beware the Fetish
KASAI ALLSTARS - black ants always fly together, one bangle makes no sound
black ants always fly together, one bangle makes no sound
KASAI ALLSTARS - black ants always fly together, one bangle makes no sound (album)
black ants always fly together, one bangle makes no sound (album)
KASAI ALLSTARS - In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into...
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