"The Black Ants Remixes"

Following the acclaimed release of Black Ants Always Fly Together, One Bangle Makes No Sound, the fourth album by the legendary Congolese collective, six diverse and equally exciting artists have revisited tracks from the LP:

Leading experimental US pop band Deerhoof (who collaborated with Kasai Allstars in the Congotronics vs Rockers live project) offer an eerie, almost psychedelic reading of Olooh.

Italy’s Afro-electro producer Khalab is known for his work with Baba Sissoko, the M’Berra Ensemble, as well as his striking Black Noise 2084 album. He’s created a mesmerising rework of The Large Bird, the Woman and the Baby.

French producer Martin Meissonnier’s contribution is a cheerful remix of Unity Is Strength. Martin’s remixes of archival Congolese tracks was featured in the Kinshasa 1978 album (released on Crammed in 2019), and his production skills have graced many albums in the past few decades (he’s worked with Fela Kuti, King Sunny Adé, Seun Kuti, Haruomi Hosono, Khaled & more).

Imaginative Lagos/London artist & producer Ekiti Sound (whose second album is due out on Crammed next year) came up with a nice clubby take on Kasai Munene, which already garnered some good DJ support.

Spooky-J and pq are the two members of the formidable Anglo-Ugandan Nihiloxica collective, and are also electronic music producers in their own right. Spooky-J offers a driving, bouncing take on Bird Woman Baby, while pq pulls out all the stops for his wild, edgy “Trip Mix” reconstruction of The Goat’s Voice.

The EP is rounded off by a previously-unreleased, sweet and semi-acoustic original track, Ngoma Yande,  written and recorded by the band during the Black Ants sessions.

Track list
1    Unity Is Strength - Martin Meissonnier Remix
2    Bird Woman Baby - Spooky-J Remix
3    Olooh, A Gathering Cry - Deerhoof Remix
4    Kasai Munene - Ekiti Sound Remix
5    The Large Bird, the Woman and the Baby -  Khalab Remix
6    The Goat's Voice - pq's Trip Mix
7    Ngoma Yande (previously-unreleased original)

KASAI ALLSTARS - BLACK ANTS EP out on all digital platforms November 19, 2021

Released in May 2021, ”Black Ants Always Fly Together, One Bangle Makes No Sound” marks a new milestone in their already rich history: the Kinshasa collective have incorporated their own personal approach to electronic music into their compositions, and have also drawn melodic ideas from areas beyond their native Kasai region.

From the press on Black Ants…

Primal avant-rock with trace-like rhythms and distorted electronics….Black Ants… throbs with intricate polyrhythms played on distorted thumb pianos over gritty vocals. Celebratory music-making at its most joyous  (Uncut, UK)

Exciting, angular and brilliantly inventive. Building as usual on foundations of folk traditions of five distinct Kasai region ethnic groups, Kasai Allstars nevertheless make music with more contemporary pop sensibilities than on any of their past albums
(Pop Matters, US)

The album crosses the rubicon into actual digital programming and makes it sound a snug fit… dry, crisp beats which borrow from contemporary rap… the trademark likembes and bugaboo polyrhythms are cutting through sharp as ever
(The Wire, UK)

The band displays a newly-found, almost pop-like character, without losing the twisted, lo-fi tribal character for which they earned the admiration of Björk, Questlove and Animal Collective
(Jazz Thing, DE)

Full of contagious lebensfreude 
(BR2, DE)

Further expands the collective’s musical scope by including sounds from neighboring regions, and complementing the band’s trademark electric guitars, call and response vocals, and distorted likembe with intricate electronic elements, further transcending any imaginary barriers.
(Bandcamp Daily, US)

Overflowing with striking energy and heady melodies. The lyrics insist on the importance of transcending linguistic and ethnic barriers
(Le Monde, FR)

Hybrid, wild, rhythmical, avant-gardist, shamanistic, extraordinary… many adjectives are needed to describe the complex, melodic energy of this album…
(L’Obs, FR)


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