The band, below, was founded back in the 1960s by Mingiedi, a virtuoso of the likembe (a traditional instrument sometimes called sanza or thumb piano, consisting of metal rods attached to a resonator).
The band's line-up includes three electric likembes (bass, medium and treble), equipped with hand-made microphones built from magnets salvaged from old car parts, and plugged into amplifiers.
Each country has a different name for the instrument -- a mbira in Zimbabwe, a deza in South AFrica, a limba in Tanzania, a likembe
in Congo and a timbili in Cameroon-- but the principle is always the same.
Their first recording was included on a compilation made in 1978 but not released until 1989 on the French label Ocora (Zaire: Musiques Urbaines a Kinshasa, Ocora 559007 , CD), and they were listed by the name Orchestre Tout Puissant Likembe
Whenever I got Sparksdrunk in the past (frequently) I reached for the likembe
trance of Konono No 1, the first release in Crammed's Congotronics series.
Konono N[degrees]1 was founded over 25 years ago by Mingiedi, a virtuoso of the likembe (the traditional instrument sometimes called 'sanza' consisting of metal rods attached to a resonator).
Any musicologist will tell you that the likembe is just one of a family of instruments found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa (and the diaspora) north of the Limpopo.
Guitars were used to imitate the traditional sounds of nzenze (harp) and likembe
The piece that follows it is "Bateau," the third of the Drunkboat compositions, in which Ribot's playing suggests he is plucking an amplified likembe
to accompany another guitarist playing a classical guitar.
Also found on the album is the king of the likembe
(thumb piano), Antoine Moundanda of Brazzaville who contributes a solo composition, and a spontaneous improvisation with his old friend and colleague Wendo, the perfect finishing touch for this rumba pioneers' summit.
The krar is a lyre from Africa that to many is better known as the seron or kiganda, and the mbira is better known to many as the sanza, kalimba, likembe
, or sanzhi.
Drawing on traditional Bazombo trance music, it centers on the sounds of multiple likembes
(thumb pianos) distorted by a jerryrigged amplification system and combined with percussive instruments and lyrics chanted through megaphones.