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PREMIERE: Stream Mbongwana Star's Eclectically Awesome Album 'From Kinshasa'

From the ashes of Staff Benda Bilili comes this Congolese septet with a banging sense of rhythm and a willful disregard for genre.

by Kim Taylor Bennett
May 12 2015, 2:25pm

Meet Mbongwana Star: the Congolese septet who stitch together bombastic African rhythms with lithe guitars and sinuous basslines to make your body bang. Boasting vocalists Coco Ngambali and Théo Ntsituvuidi, who rose to fame and globe-trotting success as part of Staff Benda Bilili, Mbonwana Star's debut album, From Kinshasa, features a breadth of textures and moods. Premiering above and released on 5.19, via World Circuit/Nonesuch Records, this collection was produced by Parisian sonic whizz Doctor L (Tony Allen, Stomy Bugsy). It's strength lies in its dynamic eclecticism, a gleeful mish-mash of genres—from the synth fuzzed pop and clattering electronics of "Kala," to the reflective swoon of "Coco Blues," to the frenetic shimmy "Nganshé." It's time to press play and immerse yourself in another world.