Staff Benda Bilili - Bouger Le Monde!
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Staff Benda Bilili
Bouger Le Monde!
Crammed Discs (www.crammed.be)

From the streets of Kinshasa, Staff Benda Bilili and the quartet of paraplegic singer-guitarists whose interlocking work is at the group’s core were named artists of the year by WOMEX in 2009 and are the focus of a French documentary, “Benda Bilili,” which captured the imagination of Cannes attendees in 2010. Since then, Staff Benda Bilili have treated Europe, Australia and Japan to their unique brand of Congolese rumba and soukous, and to mark the release of their second CD, they are making their U.S. debut in October 2012. The Staff Benda Bilili story lives up to the 10-man ensemble’s name, which means to “look beyond appearances” or to “project what is hidden.” The Congolese guitar licks and driving percussion will be familiar to Afropop enthusiasts, but the keening whine of the satonge, a homemade one-string lute that plays lead in much of the SBB repertoire, will be novel to most eyes and ears. - Michael Stone

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