Tabu Ley Rochereau - Lina

Although soukous is a musical style that is relatively unfamiliar to me it is something I have a fondness for and have previously written about on this blog. Those earlier posts focused on Leon Bukasa and Dr Nico, two Congolese musicians with a very similar interpretation of the style. On both occasions I used the word "dreamy" to describe their music which - although casual and fairly unsophisticated - holds up as an accurate description of their sound. With Tabu Ley Rochereau, much of this remains true. His music carries that same 'dreamy' sound as Bukasa and Dr Nico, with delay-coloured guitar and beautiful soft vocals. In my summary of Bukasa's work, I mentioned the featured song's name change ('Congo/Zaire Ya Biso') - a process enforced by dictatorial rule, a part of President Mobutu's 'Zairization' of Congo. Very similarly Rochereau - born Pascal-Emmanuel Sinamoyi Tabu - adopted his well-known title as a response to Mobutu's rise to power. In fact, one of Rochereau's later albums was banned by the President, demonstrating the effect of dictatorship on the nation's music. In an unsettling political period it is somewhat peculiar that the music of Rochereau and his contemporary's is so settled; so comforting and mellow.

Label: African
Year: 1969
Genre: Soukous, Rumba, Jazz

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