Eko Kuango – Eko Kuango [LVLP-1702]

Belgium based composer, poet and multi-instrumentalist Denis Mpunga formed Eko Kuango in the early ’80s. A unique fusion of African rhythms, jazz, subtle synth arrangements with an eastern flavour; they managed to introduce a strong sense of poetry – both musically and lyrically. The band garnered a reasonable following from numerous concerts played during their career, but remained little known except by a few music aficionados around the globe. Eko Kuango only released 4 tracks in the form of an EP in 1986, the band recorded one year later a studio album with the help of renowned sound engineer Arnould Massart which until now remained totally unreleased. Now with a newfound interest in their work, Libreville Records offers in this edition both the 4 tracks from the original EP and the tracks from the session of the ‘lost’ album.

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Eko Kuango – Eko Kuango [LVLP-1702]

Denis Mpunga & Paul K – Criola Remixed [MFM023]

MPUNGA, Denis/PAUL K - Criola Remixed

Having thrilled dusty-fingered crate diggers with a reissue of Denis Mpunga and Paul K’s impossible-to-find mid-’80s cassette album Criola – an unusual but rather fine combination of post-punk and traditional Congolese music – Music from Memory has decided to give some of the tracks the remix treatment. As you’d expect, there’s many more hits than misses. Dutch rising star Dazion delivers a wonderfully cosmic revision of “Intermezzo B” full of fluttering new age synth lines and drum machine polyrhythms, while Tolouse Low Trax turns “Veronika” into a woozy and dreamy chunk of dub-flecked, loved-up downtempo bliss. Late night dancefloor thrills are provided by Interstellar Funk’s intergalactic tribal techno take on “Intermezzo 2” and Prins Emmanuel’s tactile take on “KWEI!”, which sits somewhere between dub disco, boogie and proto-house.

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Denis Mpunga & Paul K – Criola Remixed [MFM023]

VA – Terra Incognita [ERC034]

Emotional Rescue starts its 5th year by shining a light on one of Europe’s best underground 80s’ label in Spain’s Auxilio De Ciento. Their Terra Incognita Volumes I and II collated an international mix of synth-pop, new wave, world and industrial sounds to a small but appreciative following. Released in 1985 and 1986, the Volumes have become highly regarded and rightly sought after, finding a place in discerning playlists from London to Amsterdam and Dusseldorf to Glasgow. Here, taking a premise of avoiding the songs unearthed on other recent reissues, is a unique album itself. Starting with Denis Mpunga & Paul K’s esoteric Criola, a fusion of fourth world ideals and poly-rhythmic funk. The music of Mal, Bene Gesserit and La Caida De La Casa Usher, however, soon highlight that the decade also belonged to dark, minimal synth as to shiny balearic ideals. The inclusion of Hector Zazou with Bony Biyake and their contribution Komba, is a fitting continuation from their cult Noir Et Blanc LP before, things continue with US avant-artist Danny Alias and his humorous Big Brother “response” to Laurie Anderson’s Superman O. Image Pour Image loose indie-pop and the inclusion of seminal Beast Of Burden lead again to a Zazou contribution, this time in his collaborative Stranger In A New Light, before the compilation eclectically ends with the dadaesque Lakota and the post punk dub of Instead Of’s closer, Angels .

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VA – Terra Incognita [ERC034]

Denis Mpunga & Paul K – Criola [MFM019]

MPUNGA, Denis/PAUL K - Criola

The last Music From Memory is a mini LP of works by Denis Mpunga and Paul K. Combining elements of traditional African music with experimental electronics, the Belgian/Congolese duo released only a handful of tracks, scattered across a few rare LP and cassette compilations that were put out in the mid eighties by obscure european labels . This release also includes a few previously unreleased songs that were found on the original master tapes.

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Denis Mpunga & Paul K – Criola [MFM019]