Published Oct 04, 2016At a mere three tracks, the New Constellation EP by Montreal producer-performer Pierre Kwenders and vocalist Ngabonziza Kiroko (aka Dear Denizen) is brief. Both artists of Congolese heritage, the pair have strong roots in the Quebecois underground scene and dub their pairing as "future soul" as they riff on electronic sounds and Congolese rumba, inflected with pop-minded sensibilities.
The group name refers to the intricate political history of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with an eye on building on the past in order to move positively into the future. As a title track, "New Constellation" rides a starry-eyed Davie Bowie-esque hook against an electro-groove backdrop. "Money to Burn" is a furious statement of devotional love, while the subdued, restrained mood of "Thieves" — "I fell out of heaven to be with you in hell" — caps things off as listeners clamour for more. The duo have stated that, as Abakos, it's all about exploring new ideas and growing as artists; with New Constellations, they've succeeded. (Moonshine)