«Digging in the history of sound recording», the baseline of the Ceints de bakélite blog sounds clear: dedicated to 78 rpm records from around the world, his research work is essential to have a complete overview of the last musical century. This selection focuses on old congolese recording sessions. So deep and so rare.
Martha Badibala and Wendo Kolosoy
Martha Ake Kotoko Mayi
«Female singers are often forgotten in the history of early popular Congolese music. Little is known about Martha Badibala, who recorded a dozen of sides on the legendary Ngoma label founded in 1948 in the former Leopoldville (renamed Kinshasa in 1966) by two Greek brothers, Nicolas and Alexandros Jeronimidis. In this lovely duo, she’s accompanied by the legendary Antoine “Wendo” Kolosoy, the very first star of Congolese rumba. This record was part of a bunch of around 30 Ngoma 78s I found in a Corsican village a few years ago. I still don’t figure out how they ended up there… One my best digs ever!»
«A catchy tune from the early 50’s by another key figure in the history of Congolese rumba, co-writer of the 1948 classic “Marie-Louise” with Wendo Kolosoy. After his starts on the Ngoma label, Bowane joined the newly founded Loningisa studio and label in 1950, another record company run by Greeks, Basile and Athanase Papadimitriou. A great guitarist and singer, Bowane also served as Loningisa’s artistic director.»
Georges Dula and Joseph Kabasele
Bolingo Suka Te
«A beauty and one of the first records of Joseph Kabasele, aka “Le Grand Kallé”, then a member of Georges Doula’s band before becoming famous in 1960 with his “Indépendance Cha Cha”. Opika is the third Greek-run label from the golden age of Congolese rumba, founded in 1949 by two brothers, Gabriel Moussa and Joseph Benetar. Within a few years of activity, Opika recorded extensively in Congo, Cameroon and also made it to Ghana and Ivory Coast, releasing both popular and folk music. One of my favourite labels.»
Rameau et Jacquy Lobbe Lobbe
«We’re leaving Congo for Cameroon with another Opika release from the mid-50’s. A catchy song by the “singing couple” Rameau and Jacquy Lobbe Lobbe, who recorded a dozen of records for Opika.»
Na Lobaki Mpe Na Lembi
«In 1953, Belgian jazz musician Guillaume “Bill” Alexandre moved to Congo to open a recording studio in Leopoldville and launch a label called the Compagnie d’Enregistrements Folkloriques Africains (CEFA). I didn’t find any info on Ambia Pascal, the singer in this excellent track backed by the great CEFA’s studio band.»
Mille mercis pour ces merveilles. Ce blog c’est la caverne d’Ali baba !
A really lovely selection. Your taste excellent as always, CdB!
I love that sleeve with the drawing of the ‘singing couple’ – fabulous!
Les Corses sont très présent en Afrique et ce depuis le temps de l’administration Coloniale où, avec les Bretons et les Méridionaux, ils étaient candidats à l’expatriation. Rien d’étonnant donc à en trouver dans un village Corse.
Sinon, c’est un superbe travail de recherche musical, merci !
On “Bolingo suka te” the harmonica is played by Kabasele.
On “Ambas Bel” the electric keyboard is played by Gilbert Warnant, who also produced and recorded both titles.
Beautiful beyond belief !!!