Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tradi-Mods Vs. Rockers (2010)

The Congotronics series has spawned a fervent following in the world of indie rock and electronic music... and now that world answers back in musical form. Crammed has asked a carefully chosen list of musicians (including Animal Collective, Deerhoof, Andrew Bird and many more) to come up with their own personal take on Congotronics. The result is this epic double album, consisting of 26 brand-new tracks from a wild mix of artists. They include covers, reworks and original compositions inspired by the electrifying sounds of Konono N°1, Kasai Allstars and other bands who play electrified traditional music (also known as "tradi-modern").
Most of the contributions blur the boundaries between reinventions and covers versions, reworks and homages. Much like its source material, this music is by turns serene, invigoratingly noisy or aimed squarely at open-minded dancefloors… yet always intriguing and in some way revelatory: this album pretends to be nothing other than a joyful homage to what has become a true phenomenon of contemporary music - but listen in, and maybe some unlikely musical bloodlines can be traced...

Featured artists include prominent US indie bands such as Animal Collective, Deerhoof, Andrew Bird, Megafaun, Oneida, Portland's AU, New York's Skeletons and Chicago's Allá, unique personalities such as Juana Molina, Jolie Holland and Glenn Kotche (of Wilco), London's mutant pop sensation Micachu & The Shapes, innovative electronic music producers such as Shackleton, Optimo and Bass Clef from the UK, and Germany's Burnt Friedman and Mark Ernestus (of Basic Channel and Maurizio fame), Crammed's young pan-European band Lonely Drifter Karen, as well as a rare appearance by the label's seminal band Aksak Maboul and many more. The Congotronics bands paid tribute to are primarily Konono N°1 and Kasai Allstars, but also Sobanza Mimanisa, Kisanzi Congo, and Kasai Allstars offshoots Masanka Sankayi and Basokin.

The album booklet includes quotes and statements by all contributors, who explain what drew them to Congotronics, and/or how they approached their track.

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