Konono No. 1 combine the spirit of traditional African music with the junk instrument concept and the progressive electronic aspect of modern times.
The group’s full name is L’Orchestre Folklorique T.P. Konono No. 1 de Mingiedi, T.P. being translated as “all powerful.” It is also a tribute to the band of the legendary Congolese musician Franco, which was called T.P.O.K. Jazz.
The band was founded by Mawangu Mingiedi, a member of the Zombo or Bazombo ethnic group, whose homeland is located near the Congo border with Angola.
Konono No.1 | Lufuala Ndonga
Mingiedi was born in Angola in 1933 and moved to Kinshasa in the former Zaire in 1949, and was a longtime taxi and truck driver trying to support a large family of children. He started the band as Orchestre Tout Puissant Likembe Konono No. 1 in the mid- to late ’70s.
Originally they adapted Zombo ritual music played by an ensemble of horns made from elephant tusks. But they switched their signature instruments to the likembe, also called the mbira, kalimba, or sanza, commonly known as the metal reed thumb piano.
Their sound system is built from handmade microphones, old car parts, megaphones and discarded amps, and they use junked auto pieces and pots and pans as percussion instruments.
Now the premier music ambassadors from Congo and suburban Kinshasa, their distortion-laden beat and trance music has set a standard for modern world music.
After a stint in Ghana researching the local hip-hop movement, Brooklyn’s Brian Shimkovitz, a trained ethnomusicologist, has accumulated hundreds of cassette tapes of rare african music from Zimbabwe to Ethiopia to Senegal.
He has been sharing his bounty through his popular blog AWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICA, which he takes on the road as a DJ – expect a trip to the music cultures of an entire continent!
Konono No.1 LIVE
Dj: Awesome Tapes From Africa
Thursday, 29 March 2012 | 21:00 CET
Gretchen | Obentrautstr. 19-21 | 10963 Berlin/Kreuzberg