Skip to content

Ofakombolo by Jupiter & Okwess

My wife and I are away on our tenth wedding anniversary holiday this weekend. I wanted to post a song befitting the landmark, but I struggled to find anything appropriate. Led Zeppelin’s ‘Ten Years Gone ‘ has always felt autumnal to me, like a breakup song. I thought of posting David Bowie’s ‘Five Years’ twice, but that song is downright apocalyptic. And John Cale’s ‘On A Wedding Anniversary’ features the lyrics “death strikes their house” and didn’t feel appropriate.

So let’s discuss what I’ve been listening to this week instead. Jupiter Bokondji and his backing band Okwess International are from the Democratic Republic Of The Congo, and have been together since 1990, but their career was interrupted by civil war. With the resumption of peace in the 2000s, Jupiter’s career gained momentum again and they’ve been featured in a documentary and played in the Glastonbury festival.

Jupiter refers to his blend of music as “Bofenia Rock” – it has elements of rock and roll and traditional Congolese rhythms. ‘Ofakombolo’ is taken from their second album, 2017’s Kin Sonic. The album includes contributions from Damon Albarn and Warren Ellis, while Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja designed the cover art, but the appeal is in the charismatic vocals and the tight interplay of the rhythms and propulsive guitar.

I’m largely ignorant of African music, apart from obvious touchstones like Graceland and Fela Kuti, but if there’s more music like this lurking around, I should spend more time with African artists.

4 thoughts on “Ofakombolo by Jupiter & Okwess Leave a comment

  1. First of all, congrats to your 10th anniversary! As for African music, I’m afraid I haven’t had any exposure either except for Graceland. Luckily, I saw Paul Simon perform with African musicians from the album shortly after it had come out.

    Watching the skill and more importantly the joy of the African musicians was simply priceless. It was hands down one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

    So, yes, I suspect there are many African music gems to discover!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Doesn't Suck

9,000 billion recordings are released on the internet each month. Roughly 5 of them will not suck.

Simone: By The River

Hey! I'm writing about travel, books, nature, music, art, food, gardening, things that inspire me, with a little bit of creative writing thrown in for good luck (if I'm feeling brave enough). Australian (Geelong, Victoria). Instagram: sima78 & trackrecordsrecords

Brendon's Beats

Album Reviews & Music Discussion

The Rockin' Chair

A place for music and books

Debbie's Song

If you can listen to it, read it, watch it, wear it, love it...I'm interested in it

Zach's Music Reviews

The Occasional Music Review

Going for a Song

An autobiography in lays and ditties

The Peter Principles

The minutiae of music and more.

%d bloggers like this: