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Jean-Marie Bolangassa's 'Brazzaville Percussions' EP

Jean-Marie Bolangassa blends traditional Congolese rhythms with drum machines & synthesizers in the infectious 'Brazzaville Percussions' EP.


Percussionist Jean-Marie Bolangassa, a founding member of the influential 1970s afro-disco group M'bamina, is sharing the release of his infectious Brazzaville Percussions EP. The EP blends Bolangassa's impeccable percussion work with intricate drum machine patterns and synthesizers for a 3-track collection that marries traditional Congolese rhythms with modern electronic production.

Bolangassa arrived in Paris back in 1967 as part of the Ballet Nationale du Congo, since then he's played a large role in Europe's African music scene, heading up M'bamina, drumming with countless coupé décalé and ndombolo groups, as well as playing with the likes of Tabu Ley Rochereau, Koffi Olomide and Ryco Jazz. The highlights on his new Brazzaville Percussions EP are "Disna Ngai," with its endless layers of rapid-fire drums, and "Rikikida," which patiently builds a vocal sample into an explosive composition. Purchase Bolangassa's Brazzaville Percussions EP, out now on digital and next week on 12" vinyl from UK imprint Sofrito. Check out the Lewis Heriz-designed cover art above.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Global Citizen x OkayAfrica: The Impact of Conflict on Children

An estimated 1.4 million children have been hit by schools closing in the Tigray region of Ethiopia amid conflict and crisis. Here's how that's impacting Ethiopia's children.

In times of conflict and war, school-aged children could have their futures defined by whether or not they can access education amid ongoing violence.

Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray is in the midst of a war that has impacted millions of lives and affected neighboring regions, Amhara and Afar. The war — which has forced citizens to flee, has tipped the region into famine, and has barricaded humanitarian aid from reaching the most vulnerable — has now been going on for about 11 months.

As the beginning of the school season draws nearer, safely reopening schools, making education accessible, and protecting children from the impacts of violence in the affected regions is a priority for aid agencies.

"As schools prepare to reopen in early October in most parts of the country, in Tigray and the bordering regions of Afar and Amhara, where the conflict has expanded, education remains at a standstill," Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif, told Global Citizen.

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