Pamelo Mounk'a, Propulsion!

IMG_0285 by you.

Pamelo Mounk'a, a singer from the Congo, made a great many recordings essaying his take on rumba-rock. All of these were filagreed with grace and charm, sounding Cuban-by-way-of-Brazzaville (in the way that Robert Fripp sounds Hendrix-by-way-of-Dorset). Every reason that I love the late Pamelo can be found in his early '80s sessions produced in Paris by Eddy Gustave. The very best albums by Pamelo Mounk'a appeared on Gustave's Eddy'Son label, with each sleeve bearing the motto: "Une Bonne musique / Un bon son / C'est l'affaire d'EDDY'SON." Only two - Pamelo Mounk'a and Samantha - have been issued on a single Karac CD, now probably out of print.

Nearly a quarter-century later it still seems too good to be true, a band with these guys playing in it:
~ Master Mwana Congo (lead guitarist, also made albums for Eddy'Son, playing like a Latinate equivalent of Teeny Hodges from Al Green's band, both men capturing the sound of a guitar telling itself a dirty joke)
~ Pablo Lubadika Porthos ('mi-solo' guitar and bass, his own recordings nearly as great, some appearing on Island's Sound D'Afrique compilations)
~ Lea Lignazi (backing vocals, a perfect timbral compliment & good luck charm adorning all the best PM lp's; to that end he's the Flo & Eddie to Pamelo's Marc Bolan)
~ Domingo Salsero (ultra-fine drummer, his name alone indexing the maniacal fixation of post-war Congolese musicians with all things Cuban)

IMG_0286 by you.

Together, the band members mesh like the Swiss Movement of Happiness as Pamelo trills and croons. These are wonderful songs, raunchy and refined in the same breath, kept aloft by one of the best dance bands ever. And so I say, with deference to E.B. White: Everywhere, everywhere, Pamelo tonight!



We work like a horse.
We eat like a pig.
We like to play chicken.
You can get someone's goat.
We can be as slippery as a snake.
We get dog tired.
We can be as quiet as a mouse.
We can be as quick as a cat.
Some of us are as strong as an ox.
People try to buffalo others.
Some are as ugly as a toad.
We can be as gentle as a lamb.
Sometimes we are as happy as a lark.
Some of us drink like a fish.
We can be as proud as a peacock.
A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla.
You can get a frog in your throat.
We can be a lone wolf.
But I'm having a whale of a time!

You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose. A
time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,

P.S. One thing of which I am sure is
that the common culture of my youth
is gone for good. It was hollowed out
by the rise of ethnic "identity politics,"
then splintered beyond hope of repair
by the emergence of the web-based
technologies that so maximized and
facilitated cultural choice as to make
the broad-based offerings of the old
mass media look bland and unchallenging
by comparison."

'Thought & Humor' by Howdy
Cyber-Humor, Cyber-Thought
Cyber-Riddles for your divertissement!!!
Anonymous said…
Your congolese music reviews knocked my socks off ! I am not sure if you are aware of the online Congo music discussion group. You can find them here: i use the moniker "Omosh"
krilli said…
... I just went back in time, to Year 2005, to check out what was be the first step. Not a bad beginning!

Thanks for the goosebumps, guys.