Audio

Alec Lomami's DRC Independence Dance Mix 'Sebene: Buka Loketo'

Kinshasa producer/rapper Alec Lomami assembled a mix of his favorite Congolese dance music in honor of DRC Independence Day.


54 years ago today the Democratic Republic of Congo gained independence from Belgium. To mark the occasion Kinshasa producer/rapper Alec Lomami assembled his favorite dance tracks from the DRC for a special Congolese Independence mix entitled Sebene: Buka Loketo.

Said Alec, "When people speak of DRC music there's a lot said about Tabu Ley, Franco, Papa Wemba, Mbilia Bel etc...and I love all those guys, but as a young kind growing up in DRC those guys were the music of my parents, we were more into Wenge and Koffi. And their music was heard all over the continent. It was the soundtrack of the club and parties. So I wanted to give a nod to that aspect of Congolese music. I still think we have the best guitar riff on the continent ;)"

The 56-minute tape was mixed by Alec's partner in crime (and Immaculate Taste's in-house producer) Lucho. Listen to Sebene: Buka Loketo (see below for Alec's explanation of the title) and scroll on for the full tracklist along with two videos Alec shared with us for visual aid.

"Most Congolese songs have a singing part followed by a dancing part, which is where the tempo goes up a bit (called the “sebene”). Growing up I used to want to be an atalaku. An atalaku is like an MC but not in the sense of a rapper. He's the one singing during the "sebene." So I named the mix Sebene: Buka Loketo (Buka Loketo means shake your hips, since pretty much most of our dances involves some sorts of hips shakin')"

Alec Lomami's Sebene: Buka Loketo Congolese Independence Mix Tracklist

1. JB Mpiana - Ndombolo

2. Koffi Olomide - Loi

3. Wenge Musica - Kalayi Boeing

4. Wenge Musica - Kin Ebouge

5. Wenge Musica - Pentagone

6. Koffi Olomide - Attantat

7. Werrason - Ca sonne

8. Koffi Olomide - Danger de Mort

9. Werrason - Tindika Lokito

10. Koffi Olomide - Effrakata

11. Ferre Gola - joao ndomele

12. Werrason - Sous Sol

13. Koffi Olomide - Ultimatum

14. Les Marquis - Desespoire

15. JB Mpiana - Mpunda

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.