“Recorded by Crammed’s Vincent Kenis in Kinshasa’s old Renapec studio, where legendary rumba/soukous stars such as Franco, Tabu Ley, Papa Wemba and Pepe Kalle made some of their best work, Bouger Le Monde reflects the band’s musical transformation during over 350 shows.
“The sound is louder and rockier, plus the addition of three new members – drummer Montana joined the band after the recording of the first album, lead guitarist Amalphi is a new recruit, and young percussionist Randy (who played with SBB when he was a kid, and then vanished for a couple of years) is back – has brought richer textures and new dimensions to the arrangements.
“Lead vocal duties are now shared between no less than seven singers: in addition to their regular singers Coco, Ricky and Theo – bass player Cavalier, drummer Montana, ‘hype-man’ Kabose, and Roger (he of the amazing tin-can-and-string solos) are all featured as lead vocalists on the album, which contains lyrics in four different Congolese languages, as well as French.
“Bouger Le Monde — ‘move the world’ or ‘make the world shake’ — encapsulates Staff Benda Bilili’s wish to modestly contribute to changing the world (through the message conveyed by their music and their attitude); their will to help change their own, local world (they’re involved in helping disabled people and homeless children in their city of Kinshasa); and their firm intention to get their audiences to get up on their feet and dance!
“It’s more powerful and sophisticated, yet retains and showcases all the idiosyncratic qualities of their makeshift instruments, and is as lyrical and moving as ever…”
Catch Staff Benda Bilili live at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Proms on 6th September 2012.