Destinations Podcast: Congo

Like much of Africa, Congo was dominated during the World War II-era by rumba, a fusion of Latin and African musical styles that came from the island of Cuba. Congolese musicians appropriated rumba and adapted its characteristics for their own instruments and tastes. In the 1950s, record labels began appearing, including CEFA, Ngoma, Loningisa and Opika, each issuing many 78 rpm records

There are two countries called Congo - The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Republic of the Congo. While both capital cities have been involved in the musical developments, it is the capital of the DRC, Kinshasa, that has provided most of the Congolese superstars. Kinshasa was Africa's undisputed musical heart, pumping out and endless flow of dance music and great bands. Each generation brought its own style, but all played music known in the West as rumba or soukous.

*photo by Charles Duvelle.


  • Récit chantë Ba-Bembé avec accompagnement de Luth (Ocora, 1967)
  • Orchestre Ba-Lari avec tambour aÌ friction (Ocora, 1967)
  • Konono No. 1 - Thin Legs (Crammed Discs, 2010)
  • Tambours Ba-Congo-Nséké (Ocora, 1967)
  • Verckys Et Orchestre Veve - Oui Verckys (Analog Africa)
  • Chant de marche Ba-Lari avec accompagnement de Sanza (Ocora, 1967)
  • Orchestre Bantous - Endiable Merengue
  • Orchestre de massikoulou Ba-Congo
  • Orchestre O.K. Jazz - Misele
  • Orchestre Cercul - Honole
  • Verckys Et Orchestre Veve - Basala Hot (Analog Africa)
  • KOKOKO! - L.O.V.E.
  • Konono No. 1 - Kule Kule Reprise
  • Orchestre O.K. Jazz - Le Temps Passe
  • Zaiko Langa Langa - Fievere Mondo
  • Papa Wemba - Shofele
  • Konono No. 1 - Um Nzonzing
  • Franco et O.K. Jazz - Boma L'Heure
  • Johnny Bokelo et Conga Success - Tambola Na Mokil
  • Zaiko Langa Langa - Iisumu
  • Verckys Et Orchestre Veve - Sex Veve
  • Verckys Et Orchestre Veve - Cheka Sana
  • Konono No. 1 - Nakobala Lisusu Te

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