The Democratic Republic of Congo has brought forth some of the top-selling artists of the African continent, with the late 80s and early 90s famously dubbed the Belle Époque of African rumba music. Bands like Franco & Le T.P.O.K Jazz, Empire Bakuba and Afrisa International toured long distances to shake up the nightlife of cities like Nairobi, Luanda and even Paris and Amsterdam with their danceable Congolese rumba and soukous. Sung in Lingala – the lingua franca of capital city Kinshasa – the songs were naturally incomprehensible for those who did not speak it. But to the Congolese listener, they meant more than just a good night out. The music, with its accompanying diarrhée verbale was a lesson in straight talking.
Of the countless tracks that make it to the airwaves each week at Red Light Radio, some leave a more lasting impression than others. From month to month, enjoy a sampling of favorite tracks heard on air, courtesy of the team at RLR. April’s picks include music by Sonya Spence, Minimal Man, Paraf and Rhythmus 23.
Lorenzo’s Pick: Sonya Spence – “Let Love Flow On” (1981)
Played by Adam Oko & Death Is Not The End on April 22nd.
Here’s one more Jamaican musical gem that I had “slept” on; unsurprisingly so since I have the tendency to collect and listen to rather militant and harsh reggae music. That, and I’m not much of a lovers’ expert.
Since this record has no typical one drop structure, it’s not recognizable right away as a Jamaican production. Having more of a US R&B/soul vibe to its musical structure, this one is very spacey and cosmic, with a beautiful and catchy melody that got me singing along from the first bar.
I heard that Death Is Not The End had played it at a party the night before he came over to Red Light Radio for his show with Adam Oko. When he played it again here I asked him right away what it was, went on Discogs and found out to my dismay that the vinyl is ridiculously expensive. Shit…
Jim’s Pick: Minimal Man – “He/She” (1985)
Shoutout to Arsenii & Ilya Simonov from Moscow. They were around for the Record Fair and dedicated a show to their latest finds. Proper eclectic selections and finishing off with a personal new find that’s this Minimal Man record. Minimal Man was an Industrial Post Punk band from San Francisco. This particulair track is from the album Sex With God which came out in 1985. Seems they were into confusing titles. Anyhow, go check it out!
Dion’s Pick: Lechuga Zafiro – “Orquidea T-1000” (2017)
This song was played by some guy who has been hosting a show called Brain Fried for quite some time now at Red Light but I don’t really know him. Approaching him seemed very dangerous but nevertheless I asked for the track ID of this.
I like how the song builds up from weird random noises to something that I don’t fully know how to describe but I’d like to call that bubbling. Found on the compilation Club Chai Vol. 1, which has a broad variation of tracks and is really worth a listen too.
Oh, and I love the frog sounds.
Boris’s Pick: Jan Van Den Broeke – “Who Is Still Dreaming” (2017)
Nosedrip aka Ziggy Devriendt is definitely one of my favorite people from Oostende, Belgium. During his recent radio show he played this song mid-set and it went straight through my heart. Melancholic and weirdly uplifting at the same time. I asked him what it was and guess what… Ziggy told me he would be releasing this Jan Van Den Broeke compilation himself in a week with this very song on it. DONE DEAL PLAYER! The entire compilation works great as a whole and is flawless; with super kool liner notes to seal the deal. Pick it up!
Hugo’s Pick: Paraf – “Napunjeno Vrijeme” (1984)
This months pick was easy and difficult at the same time. The easy part is that it had to be a track I’ve heard during our 6 hour broadcast in Belgrade, Serbia with strictly Yugo music. The difficult part is that I’ve discovered 100 amazing tracks that day. I would suggest to listen to all radio shows that has been made live from the 20/44 Boat in Belgrade, but one particular track, played by WC7 aka Vladimir Crvenkovic kept sticking in my head. It’s a song recorded in1984 in Croatia, Yugoslavia by Paraf. It’s beautiful, the whole album is really great and diverse, loud, wavey. Hope you’ll like it too and someone will do a reissue, because the OG is too expensive for DJ Soulseek.
Lien’s Pick: Rhythmus 23 – “Panzer Transmission” (2014)
Thrilled I was last week when I finally gave the Neon Decay show my full attention. What a great show! Usually hosted by Absynth & Reverend Esser, this time it was Annemarie (Reverend Esser) solo. A full hour with unadorned and underexposed waves from the past and present.
Almost at the end of the show Annemarie played this track by minimal wave / synth wave formation Rhythmus 23 from Mexico. Check it out!