Their distorted polyrhythms and spontaneous lo-fi sounds provide a chaotic soundtrack to their home country. KOKOKO! represent the antithesis of tradition, and their debut album Fongola - which translates to “the key” - is a torrid, anarchic, youthful journey smashing a new path through modern life in Africa’s third most populous city.
Life in Kinshasa is tough. Since its inception three years ago the band have lost their drummer to lung cancer, a dancer from their wider collective to electrocution, had homes destroyed by police, safety concerns at election time, visa struggles and a lucky incident with a crocodile. Their lyrics explore love, sorcery and magic, the need to take things slowly in life, greed and corruption and the importance of being heard and understood.
Without access to imported guitars and drum kits, Imitation wasn’t an option, which necessitated innovation. The resulting album is experimental electronic music, but it doesn’t fit neatly within any genre. Most of the sounds on this project can’t be replicated - sardine tins, water bottles and engine parts. What started as a financial challenge resulted in a creative advantage.
Release: Transgressive Records/Inertia, July 5th, 2019