Analog Africa releases their latest album, 'Congolese Funk, Afrobeat & Psychedelic Rumba 1969-1978' by Verckys et l´Orchestre Vévé.
Germany-based label and archivers Analog Africa releases a festive album with Congolese Funk, Afrobeat & Psychedelic Rumba 1969-1978 by Verckys et l'Orchestre Vévé. Showcasing the loose mastery of saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Verckys, the compilation features such songs as the opener "Bassala Hot" and "Cheka Sana" where fast drums and running guitars join Verckys' whirling horns for a parade of sound. According to Analog Africa, this is a sound that Verckys pioneered. Born Georges Mateta Kiamuangana in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), Verckys joined OK Jazz, the highly respected Kinshasa rumba band, when he was eighteen.
Dissatisfied with the band's traditional playing and keen on forging his own style, Verckys soon left the grooup, however, and founded Orchestre Vévé, a collective that mixed, as Analog Africa explains, "the ever influential prowess of James Brown with Congolese Merengue, Rumba and Soukous." James Brown himself, upon hearing Verckys during a trip to Kinshasa for the Zaire 74 concert, called him "Mr. Dynamite." It's a name that, as this new record proves, rightfully applies to Verckys the musician but could also aptly describe Verckys the entrepreneur. Not only did he venture into production, Verckys created "a sprawling entertainment complex" that was home to the DRC's first record pressing factory. Afterwards, he built a studio in Kinshasa, taping sessions with the late Congolese singer/songwriter Tabu Ley Rochereau.
Verckys will possibly return to his musician roots this coming summer for a European tour. If he doesn't, there's still this wonderful record. Congolese Funk, Afrobeat & Psychedelic Rumba 1969-1978 by Verckys et l´Orchestre Vévé is available both digitally and on vinyl via Analog Africa. Listen to "Bassala Hot" below.