Caution: This video features some brief, suggestive scenes and is intended for adult viewers.
From a dusty courtyard in Ngwaka, a ghetto in the Congolese capital Kinshasa, a hypnotic sound pulls neighbors out of their homes and into the streets like a colossal magnet. Passersby beat along with improvised drums. On a rooftop, little kids dance like they’re possessed. Two shirtless men tumble to the floor with their lips locked together, while a dimly lit dance floor throbs with chaotic convulsion.
KOKOKO! is an explosive new musical collective that thrives on ingenuity and induces a frenetic trance. Yesterday, the band dropped a short video on YouTube introducing their first single “Tokoliana,” and showcasing some of their most innovative sounds and instruments—including a typewriter jerry-rigged to bang on a piece of scrap metal, and an upright harp made of wires strung up to old coffee cans. Its members, fans of electronic dance music, didn’t have the means or materials to emulate their favorite sounds, one of them explains, so they started picking up junk and making their own sound machines.
The group teamed up with French producer Débruit through a musical collaboration project called Africa Express, i-D reports, and now they’re going international. They call their sound “tekno kintueni” or “zagué” in Lingala, the lingua franca of the DRC, a sound they say is inspired by the everyday sounds around town.
“Everything has a sound and many you can recognize, the varnish street sellers bouncing the little bottles with their own rhythms, the cigarette sellers with the elastics sounds,” KOKOKO! tells i-D. “Kinshasa is a city you listen to.”