african music afrobeat ethnography Introducing... kraut-rock post rock world

Introducing… Lady Aicha & Pisco Crane’s Original Fulu Miziki Band of Kinshasa

Making music from trash dumped in the slums of the DR of Congo.

Hold on tight as this musical collective needs a bit of explanation! Back in 2003, Pisco Crane set up a six-piece band in his Kinshasa slums based on a simple idea. Musical instruments are everywhere and you should have access to something to make music on at any time. Since the band were slum-based, trash and rubbish were recycled into percussive tools. Pisco set about building instruments from the discarded trash that surrounded his city: bits of old computers or oil cans were fashioned into bass guitars and drums, and keyboards were bashed together using springs, metal pipes, and offcuts of tubing. The band became known as Fulu Miziki.

Later on, Lady Aicha joined them. Lady Aicha is a performance artist, sculptor and fashion designer. Aicha designed masks and costumes for Fulu Miziki and became their lead vocalist. The original band had gone off to do other projects and so Lady Aicha and Pisco Crane set up the same idea again with new musicians. This all came to a head in 2020 when footage of their performances gained traction in lockdown. Their modern take on tribalistic chants brings a post-punk aggressive metallic discord to their music. It is invigorating and gets you amped up like touch paper.

Their debut album in this new guise is called ‘N’Djila Wa Mudujimu’ and the lead single ‘Kraut’ is available below. It personifies their entire sound perfectly. The album is available to preorder on Bandcamp too, with release currently scheduled for the 21st of October. It’s great to hear contemporary art music coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo and hopefully, this album helps cultivate a wider reach to their community of art and expression.

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