- Congolese-inspired club music with influences from across Africa.
- =The Montparnasse metro and train station is one of the busiest places in Paris, a hub connecting travelers from all over France and Europe. That's where Algerian-French producer Nadjib Ben Bella and South African DJ Aero Manyelo—member of the band Batuk—first met. But the source for their self-titled debut is far from France. It draws from the sounds that have flourished in the Democratic Republic of Congo: cyclical guitars and trance-like polyrhythmics that are essential to local traditions, and have been broadened by a number of modern electronic music artists.
Two important Congolese collectives worked with the French and South African duo in this release—the big band Kasai Allstars and the group Basokin, featured in the first two tracks of the EP. Both pivot around echoed, expansive vocal lines and persistent arpeggios, but while "Panter'' melds together the melody and drums in harmony, "Le Serpent" gleefully collides its grinding guitars and bell sounds.
Soukous-esque guitar lines from Mbongwana Star—like Montparnasse Musique, an international band with both African and European members—weave through easygoing beats on "Bitumba," while "Sukuma" features syncopated drums and a frenzy of multi-layered synth lines give birth to a fast-paced blend. "Makonda" goes even further, a distant relative of the deep and extended beats that have fueled Afro house over the past years. So, while the A-side shows that Congolese music is an enormous source of inspiration to the duo, the B-side gives a hint of the vast and ongoing experimentation with pan-African musics. Montparnasse Musique's debut resembles a metro line: a winding path that connects dots around the world.
01. Panter feat. Kasai Allstars & Basokin
02. Le Serpent feat. Basokin
03. Bitumba feat. Mbgonwana Star
04. Sukuma feat. Muambuyi
05. Makonda feat. Konono N