May 18, 2009

Don't touch

For a lighter note I would like to share this album from Congo D.R.. It is by Les Frères Fataki and orchestre "Touche Pas", and -although undated- probably from the late 1970s.

I gather from a page in the french wikipedia that the Fataki brothers were at one point involved in Papa Wemba's Yoka Lokolé. And the Nostalgie Ya Mboka website informs us about the subsequent adventures of one of the brothers, José:

"Formerly a member of the orchestra Frères ('Brothers') Fataki, he joined Viva
La Musica in 1985. Fataki accompanied Viva on the 1986 Japanese tour and moved to Paris with Wemba in 1987. In 1992, Fataki quit Viva to co-found orchestra
Nouvelle Génération de la République Démocratique. He recorded three LPs with La
Nouvelle Génération (the last LP was also his first solo LP, titled Ya Jose)
before retiring from the music industry in 1996. Recently reappeared as a
religious singer (see Debaba biog above), releasing his first CD with this new
direction in 1999."

The lokolé slit drum, which Papa Wemba is said to have introduced into modern Congolese music (but I have a nasty suspicion this record may have inspired him...), is clearly present in this record. In fact, apart from the vocals one could go as far as to call it the main attraction of this pleasant, but not great lp.



poltroon said...

Thanks for posting this album. As to the use of the lokole in Congolese pop I think the credit must go to Dr Nico. Gary Stewart sent me a cartoon from LIKEMBE magazine from 1973 that shows Nico playing lokole while the audience walks out and his brother, Dechaud, kicks his ass. Nico exclaims "Whaddya want? It's folklore!" I listened to the one or two Nico tracks I have from 1973 and there is heavy conga playing, and maybe even timbales, but no distinct lokole.
Sadly, there are no recordings I know from Nico between 1973 and the 2 SonAfric Albums SAF 61008 and 9 which I think must be from 1978. If anyone can enlighten me on the dates of this I would be grateful.

Alastair (muzikifan)

Vadio Mambenga said...

The Lokole - as a traditional instrument is used in several different areas of Congo and in pop music has featured in tradi-modern folklore ensembles (alongside guitars etc) since the earliest recordings of Congolese music back in the late 1940s. However it was truly brought into Congolese musical consciousness, during the period of musical 'Authenticity', by the orchestra ISIFI Lokole (of whom Papa Wemba was a founder member) from late 1974. Thus, it was not a new thing for the Lokole to be used on Congolese pop records, but what brought it to the fore was that ISIFI (and later Yoka) Lokole, used it as an integral part of their sound throughout almost all of their recorded material and live performances. This I suggest was done in the 'spirit of Authenticity' since Mobutu had asked the country's musicians to 'draw from the past', and to 'create a music that was wholly Zairian'. Bullshit perhaps? But certainly a smart move on the part of politically and socially concious aspiring young musicians. Also Wemba is accredited with bringing the Lokole to ISIFI and when he and others left to make Yoka Lokole in 1975, there was a court case (which Wemba and friends won) to that effect, meaning that Evoloko's ISIFI Lokole could no longer use the word Lokole as a part of their name. Equally after his sacking from Yoka Lokole, Wemba then took the Lokole into his next orchestra - Viva La Musica from late 1976.
Regarding Poltroons comment, I would also suggest that the choice of the lokole in the Nico cartoon is purely ironic to illustrate the folkloric parody of his later recordings (suggesting he had lost direction). That said, I do not dismiss the idea that Nico would have worked with a Lokole over his many years in music, but certainly I have never heard a recording featuring both Dr Nico and the aforesaid instrument. - although of course it doesn't mean they do not exist - get digging Poltroon... :-)

Vadio Mambenga's wheelchair said...

I would also add that whereas the vocalist Efoloko assumed leadership of ISIFI Lokole (leading to Wemba and a number of others leaving the band to create a new orchestra), Yoka Lokole was actually lead by Mavuella Somo, rather than Papa Wemba (as you incorrectly suggest above). Wemba himself, although already a rather precocious singer with a fan following of his own, was, we could say, still only a vocalist rather than a leader at that time. As was stated above, it was only with Viva La Musica, that Wemba began to head his own orchestra.
Also, the Freres Fataki LP is from the early 1980s, by which time many orchestras had introduced the Lokole into their line up, mimicking what ISIFI and Yoka Lokole had done some years before. Hope this is helpful.

Peter said...

As mentioned on the French Wikipedia page, Mavuela became the sole leader of Yoka Lokolé after Bozi and Wemba left. It was then that Mavuela had to look for new vocalists and recruited the Fatakis. However, Yoka Lokole didn't last long and the Fatakis joined Orch. Kanako, a group that also included the aforementioned Debaba. Around 1980, the Fatakis moved on to form Orch. Touche Pas, taking along a young guitarist by the name of Auguy Lutula. Lutula (who later joined Victoria Eleison) probably played guitar on this LP. As for the Fatakis, Makwaya died and Ndoko aka Jose moved to France where he sang with Viva La Musica and Nouvelle Generation. He has a nephew, Tabou Fataki Jr, who is also in the music business.

Vadio Mambenga's sparewheel said...

Mavuela had assumed control of Yoka Lokole long before Wemba's sacking (in-part leaving Wemba marginalised and also leading to his sacking) and Bozi remained with Yoka Lokole for some months after Wemba's departure (in short - don't always trust what you read on Wiki).

Fataki played with Viva in Kin for some time before (alongside Wemba and Awilo) he relocated in France. He was also (later on) chef d'orchestra of Viva in France.

Anyhow its not really to 'nit pick' these things, or to tell you what Auguy Lutula's favorite breakfast serial was, since I am sure you can find that out from Wikipedia too.

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Anonymous said...

Great information. Thanks.