We are so excited to finally share with you Fongola, the debut LP from KOKOKO!
Producer Débruit has said of the record: "You can trace the seeds of Fongola back to so many different places. It began in Kinshasa in the Ngwaka neighbourhood where DIY experimental musical instruments are made, and the Lingwala neighbourhood where Makara Bianko sings every night on electronic loops with his dancers and where the band first met. We spent our tours across Europe dreaming about what we wanted to tell the world. It was recorded in makeshift studios we built out of ping pong tables and mattresses in Kinshasa and Brussels. Finally, I spent months putting it all together in Abattoir, Anderlecht like a giant electronic puzzle with pieces that don’t fit and no blueprint".
KOKOKO! began in 2016 in Kinshasa. Electronic artist Débruit was in town working on a film soundtrack and began collaborating with Makara Bianko, a charismatic singer who performs with his dancers to electronic loops, and separately with a number of ingenious musical instrument creators and artists. They threw a spontaneous block party, and though many of them hadn’t known each other previously, the energy really clicked between Makara Bianko, Débruit, Boms Bomolo, Dido Oweke, Love Lokombe and Bovic Mwepu (who has since passed away), and together they became the founding members of the group KOKOKO!, which is part of a wider collective of multidisciplinary artists.
Fongola is released on limited edition red LP, CD and Cassette, with the band also making exclusive KOKOKO! signed photographs available. You can get your copy here.
Rough Trade have also made the record their Album of the Month - you can get an exclusive yellow Rough Trade copy of the album here.
To accompany the release, the band has announced an extensive world tour, which kicked off at All Points East in early June alongside Bon Iver, before the band return to the UK and Europe for November headline shows including shows at iconic spots such as London Fabric and Berlin Berghain. Tickets are available here. Full dates below:
Fongola North America Headline Tour
Fongola UK/EU Headline Tour - further dates announced very shortly