Published May 02, 2016The experimental "Kinshasa meets Lisbon" pairing of Congolese band Konono N°1 and Angolan/Portuguese artist Batida (aka Pedro Coquenão) just works. There's always been a delightful DIY feel to the innovative low-tech/hi-fi amplification of Konono N°1's "Congotronics" sound; paired with electronic music producer Batida, there's a renewed urgency on their collaborative new LP, Konono N°1 meets Batida.
The eight-track project manages to mesh the collective's more fluid approach to rhythm and cadence with Batida's more rigid metronomic flow: the electric, likembé-driven "Nlele Kalusimbiko" invigorates, as does the frenetic tempo of head-nodder "Tokolanda." The insistent vocal styles of "Bom Dia," punctuated by hand-claps, is rightly served by a stripped-down, bass-heavy approach, while the more modern-minded vibe of "Nzonzing Familia" bridges the generational gap between the two entities in ideal fashion. It's a meeting of musical minds, and the resulting electro-traditional dialogue is fascinating. (Crammed Discs)