Basokin was born within the diaspora of the natives of Kasai-Oriental in Kinshasa and, in time, made its place among the best bands “in exile” in the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Several of its members, including guitarist and spokesman Mopera, are also part of Kasai Allstars, a supergroup considered to be one of the flagbearers of the Congolese tradi-modern movement, along with Konono n°1, whose Congotronics has grown in popularity these past few years. From the music of pre-colonial savannah to the sophistication of jazz and the electronic music of the rich neighbourhoods of African metropoles, their influences are many and — most importantly — unpredictable. Can we only imagine how communities with incredibly diverse cultures and languages converged on Kinshasa after the end of the Belgian Congo to create a melting pot that defies history? The tradi-modern sound of Congolese musicians, which reached Europe about a dozen years ago, is but one example: at once an aesthetic and a geopolitical shock — an incredible maelstrom of continuity and rupture.
© portrait Michel Winter