Gergedan Müzik

Roots Of Rumba Rock by Various Artists
Crammed Discs
Release date: 
16 November 2006

This essential collection documenting the early days of Congolese pop was finally re-issued in 2006, this time as a double CD including both of the separate, original volumes.

Lovingly put together by Congotronics man Vincent Kenis, RRR contains 40 delightful tracks and chronicles the birth of what was to become Africa's most popular musical style.

The origins of Congolese rumba, its strange links with traditional music, French crooners and Belgian brass bands... the spectacular reappropriation of Afro-Cuban music by Kinshasa musicians who recognized some of the old likembe (thumb piano) patterns originally brought to Cuba by deported Congolese slaves and proceeded to adapt them to the electric guitar... the social context, the lifestyle of Congolese musicians in the early Fifties... all of that and much more is extensively described in the liner notes written by Kenis and based on interviews with musicians from that era.

The artists featured include BOWANE, DE WAYON, LIENGO, ADIKWA, FRANCO (then in his early teens) and some other founding fathers of rumba.

 In the early Fifties, Kinshasa (then called Léopoldville) became a musical beehive. Being the capital of a country the size of a continent, it was a meeting point for a wide variety of ethnic groups which soon merged their traditions to create new musical styles. But the main reason why the music of Kinshasa grew so strong and conquered all Africa lies in its spectacularly successful reappropriation of Afro-Cuban music, which was instantly recognized and adopted as a prodigal son coming back home. Which of course it really was: only two generations had passed since the end of the slave trade from Congo to Cuba, and most elements in Cuban music sounded very familiar to Congolese ears.

 Despite its brutality, the Belgian colonial system didn't interfere much with the social life of the 'natives'. On the contrary, to attract cheap labor towards the industrial centres, the powerful Radio Congo Belge broadcast intensively its local music, not suspecting that it would be perceived all around Africa - just like rock'n'roll was perceived in Europe and the USA at the same moment - as something completely new, radical, exciting and subversive, because it suggested a modernity which owed nothing to the Europeans.


  1. Kotiya zolo te - Bowane
  2. Mam’alobi na bala yo - Bowane
  3. Tembe na tembe - Liengo
  4. Noko akomi mobali - Adikwa
  5. Tika lofundu - Kalima Pierre
  6. Ménagère - Lisanga Pauline
  7. Ah, ngai Nzambe - Luyeye Gaston
  8. Odjali na mouchoir? - Kitenge
  9. Belito - Amba Joséphine
  10. Margarine Fina -  Tino Mab
  11. Nyekese - De Wayon
  12. Angélique - Luyeye Gaston
  13. Nyokuma - Bowane
  14. Prince Baudouin - Lufungola Alphonse
  15. Towuti Brazza toye - Kisasa De Malo
  16. Mazole vanga sanga - Bokalanga
  17. Nalekaki na nzela - De Wayon
  18. Kitoko na yo ekosaki ngai - Kalafayi
  19. Esengo ya mokili - De Wayon
  20. Na mokili moko te - Kalima Pierre
  21. Esengo ya La Beauté - Liengo
  22. Balobi na pimbwa - Kalafayi Jean
  23. Caroline Fataki - Camille
  24. Senene mingi - Nganga
  25. Banani wana? - Tino Mab
  26. Boyoki lisolo? - Taureau
  27. Kanisa, Elise - Adikwa
  28. Mbula ebeti, naleli - Bowane
  29. Nicodème Lulu - De Wayon
  30. Oka Banzola - Bolalia Pedro
  31. Bana Bosenge - De Wayon
  32. Osi dia mba nyue - Same Raymond
  33. Ndumba Madeleine - Bossocould David
  34. Liwa - Bowane
  35. Ayebi kobota - De Wayon
  36. Mwasi wa Kalemba - Adikwa
  37. Tuba mbote - De Wayon
  38. Olingi na sala boni - Kalima Pierre
  39. Liwa ya nkoko - Nganga
  40. Bomba na motema - Kalima Pierre