October 1st, 2012
Title: Bouger Le Monde!
Artist: Staff Benda Bilili
Label: Crammed Discs
Formats: CD, MP3
Release date: September 3, 2012
Staff Benda Bilili, the Congolese band comprised of four elder paraplegic guitarists backed by a youthful rhythm section of former street children, captured the attention of the world following the release of their 2009 debut Très Très Fort and the feature film Benda Bilili!, which documented the group’s struggles and triumphs. After touring non-stop for the past three years, the members of the band stayed put in Kinshasa long enough to cut a new album, Bouger le monde! Roughly translated to “move the world,” the title reflects their dual desire to shake up the dance floor and, more importantly, change the world, especially their own corner of it in the war ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo.
On Bouger, the band showcases their new, more sophisticated sound developed over the course of hundreds of live shows and benefitting from the addition of three new members and a larger complement of vocalists (singing variously in Congolese and French). Highlights include the reggae oriented “Sopeka” which is punctuated with some great guitar licks, the high octane “Bilanga” with its furiously fast drumming, and “Mutu Esaslaka (The Brains Are OK) ” which emphasizes the call and response and vocal harmonies of the chorus.
Following is the official trailer for the album featuring the song “Osali Mabe”:
Staff Benda Bilili will be touring the U.S. this fall in support of the album, with October dates announced for venues along the East and West coasts. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the cities they’ll be visiting, you can experience their uplifting live show and “move the world.”
Reviewed by Brenda Nelson-Strauss
Review Genre(s): World Music