Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

African Guitars! Kenya vs Congo

Africa is probly better known for her drums and rhythms, but credit the continent for producing some of the world's finest guitarists. Players whose work has influenced generations and influenced musicians of many genres. Bands like Vampire Weekend and Fools  Gold are just two examples of the many indie-rockers finding kindred sounds from crucial African players.

Players like Diblo Dibala, known as "The Machinegun," Diblo and his band Loketo ( trans. "hips") are a great example of soukous guitar. Having studied under the legendary Franco "The Sorcerer of Guitar," in TPOK Jazz, his lineage is exemplary. His 1989 album Super Soukous is prototypical, classic soukous from the heyday of its popularity. After his work in Loketo, Diblo moved to Brussels and joined Kanda Bongo Man. Truly, the man is the heart of African Soukous guitar in the 80's. These songs are irrepressibly joyful and the guitar interplay sublime. 

Diblo with Loketo "Amour et Souvenir"

Sweet Talks "Angelina"

I really wish I knew the guitar player on the Queen Jane cut, but his chops are a great example of Kenyan guitar playing. As is the banger I ended the set with, from Kakai Kilonzo's Kilimambogo Brothers which features Joseph Sila on lead guitar. Both songs are a unique Kenyan style called Benga and are excellent examples of it. Benga, and Kenyan guitar styles are often credited as an influence on the Congolese soukous sound and I think you can really tell from listening to these cuts. 

Queen Jane "Nduranga Ngwetereire (I'm Still Waiting For You)"

Kakai Kilonzo "Mama Sofi Pt. 2"

Production Manager | Radio Milwaukee