Zaïko Langa-Langa, Zaïre-Ghana

Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A fusion of U.S. soul, U.K. rock and post-Franco rumba.

Starting out in high school and containing up to five drummers at a time (as well as a pair-or-three of guitarists), Zaiko Langa Langa set out to fuse U.S. soul and U.K. rock with its post-Franco rumba. Zaïre-Ghana, from 1976, crystallizes that ambition with nine hypnotically sprawling tracks. With bassist “Uncle” Bapius and drummer Meri-Jo Belobi setting the groove (Belobi leans hard on his snare and hi-hat), rhythm guitarist Enoch Zamuangana and lead player Matima draw concentric circles around each other and vocalist Nyoka Longo; it's a little dizzying and more than a little compulsive listening.