Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

STAFF BENDA BILILI

Tres Tres Fort

2009-05-17

Staff Benda Bilili is a band of homeless and disabled (four members are paraplegic) people living in the grounds of Kinshasa Zoo in Congo. Benda Bilili literally translates to "put forward what is hidden", which pretty much means to look beyond appearances. Playing mostly home-made and found instruments, including a plastic armchair drum kit, they were "discovered" when introduced to British and US musicians who visited Kinshasa as part of the Africa Express trip of 2007. They won the hearts of members of Massive Attack and Damon Albarn, with whom they performed. This is an album of amazingly optimistic songs that document everyday life for these people. Take the lyrics to "Tonkara", for instance. "I once slept on cardboard. Good luck hit me. I bought myself a mattress. It can happen to you..." Optimistic indeed! Rebecca Ruth.

Quick Links:

More reviews tagged #World

  • reviewed 12/2006

    VARIOUS
    One World Many Cultures

  • reviewed 03/2009

    LOS FABULOSOS CADILLACS
    LA LUZ DEL RITMO

  • reviewed 08/2007

    SUPHALA
    Blueprint

  • reviewed 10/2004

    Pierre Bensusan / Andrew York / Guinga / Brian Gore
    An Evening with International Guitar Night

  • reviewed 02/2005

    Lisbeth Scott
    Passionate Voice

  • reviewed 06/2005

    Shukar Collective
    Urban Gypsy

Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.