“Mariama” a programme with African music. Congolese rumba and Soukous.
Today a programme about Congolese rumba and Soukous. Music mainly from Zaire, the current Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The capital Kinshasa has been one of the largest world-music cities for a long time. Music was played in the different clubs and people danced on popular rhythms like the rumba-boucha, the kiri-kiri, the kwassa-kwassa etc.
One important ingredient was the guitar picking style, the sublime harmonies and the dance rhythms. Styles that have influenced Congolese music include the merengue, pachanga, cha cha cha, bolero etc. The Congolese rumba was picked up almost immediately by other African countries thanks to the Pan African radio channels but also because of a wide distribution network. The reasons for this international interest can be attributed to the rhythmic and fluent accent of the Lingala language and especially the ‘Sebene’, in which the dance tempo speeds up and the guitars improvise to a musical climax.
Soukous (the word derives from the French word Secouer, that means shake) is a musical form from the two neighboring countries Congo-Kinshasa and Congo-Brazzaville from the early 20th century. Originally it was the name of a dance in Congo around 1960 but now it is the name of the African rumba. Because of the rise of recording studios and radio stations in the forties and introduction of the electrical guitar, Soukous got a more modern sound. In this programme we will focus on the Congolese rumba and Soukous between 1956 and 1982.