After building names for themselves in Montreal's music scene over the years, Afro-futurist singer and DJ Pierre Kwenders and Ngabonziza Kiroko of electronic indie folk group Dear Denizen have teamed up for a new project. While the duo's moniker is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the abacost—the Mao-inspired suit which Congolese president Mobutu Sese Seko made standard for the country in the 1970s in an attempt to curtail European influence—they've described ABAKOS as a chance to explore new musical ideas.
For their upcoming debut EP, New Constellation (out September via Moonshine), the pair travelled to Nashville to record with OWSLA-affiliated trio Basecamp. They also ended up logging studio time with UK soul singer-songwriter Jamie Lidell, a longtime hero of Kiroko's. The title track recalls early TV On The Radio, with ping-ponging synths, soaring vocals, and hints of Congolese rumba.
"'New Constellation' is an uplifting hymn about hope and self worth," Kiroko tells THUMP. "A celebration of a newfound confidence and an eagerness to remain optimistic about the future without discarding one's past or provenance.
Listen to it below, and if you happen to live in Montreal, catch the duo July 6 at the Montreal International Jazz Fest.
Max Mertens is on Twitter.