Les Mamans Du Congo

13/01/21French Producer Rrobin Joins Forces W/ Congolese Afro-Feminist Collective On Remarkable Emancipatory Effort

Time to ring in 2021 with a release that arrived late last year on Lyon-based "audioactivist" imprint Jarring Effects, but no doubt deserves all the attention it can get. "Les Mamans du Congo & Rrobin" is a collaborative and emancipatory effort to empower African women, that combines age-old Bantu lullabies with state-of-the-art electronic instrumentation rooted in hiphop. Led by renowned Congolese chanteuse and percussionist Gladys Samba, Les Mamans du Congo join forces with French producer/beatmaker Rrobin on nine hybrid productions, gravitating towards the dancefloor yet also shining a light on everyday predicaments of the Congolese woman.

Back in 2018 and with the support of l'Institut Français du Congo, Gladys Samba and five fellow Congolese mothers put together a show, in an attempt to revive and popularise traditional Congolese lullabies: six voices accompanied by DIY-rhythms, performed with forks, plates, baskets, pestles and other common household utensils. That same year Rrobin released his album "Déluge" on Galant Records, collaborating with the likes of Grems, Spoek Mathambo, Nancy Fortune. Around the same time, he began working with la Coopérative de Mai, in Clermont Ferrand, helping to further young talents. 

It just so happened that l'Institut Français du Congo eventually teamed up with la Coopérative de Mai for their joint project "Visa pour la Création", ultimately bringing together Gladys Samba and Rrobin to combine traditional sounds with contemporary productions. In the fall of 2019, Rrobin and Céline Frezza (sound engineer and artistic director at Galant Records) traveled to Brazzaville, where, over the span of ten days, the first recordings were made. The result is a mesmerising, multi-faceted album, both audacious and empowering, that makes for an infectiously groovy listening experience.

You can stream/buy the full album via the player below or cop one of the strictly limited LPs on Bandcamp. Don't sleep!

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom