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Konono No. 1

Performing Arts

Photo: © Vincent Kenis
Konono No. 1
Sat, Nov 12, 2005 8 PM
"Of such overpowering intensity...that you're knocked sideways."—BBC African ensemble Konono No. 1. and their debut release, Congotronics, have been the buzz of the world and indie music scenes, inspiring incredulous reactions in review after glowing review. The 12-member Kinshasa-based street band performs on amplified thumb pianos and a startling array of rhythm instruments, many created from salvaged car parts, pots, and pans. Polyrhythms are then pushed to the edge of distortion by extremely lo-fi effects and makeshift electronic devices. Konono's trance-inducing, futuristic-yet-timeless sound has made an indelible impact, drawing comparisons to electro-funk pioneers Kraftwerk and reggae dub master Lee Perry.