Album review
From The Heart Of The Congo
Lee "Scratch" Perry, Kalo Kawongolo & Seke Molenga

Tracking list

  1. African roots
  2. Bad food
  3. Muto ya motema
  4. Mengieb
  5. Nakoya
  6. Guipimbu gienn
  7. River stone
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 3/4 Sleeve : 3

An obscure and almost impossible-to-find album is once again available on compact disc. Lee Perry had just produced one of the all time classic rasta recordings, "Heart of the Congos" by the Congos, and had a growing obsession with things African as a Rastafarian, who had once worked for him as a record salesman, brought two African musicians from Zaire - stranded strangers in a strange land - to his Black Ark Studio. In Perry's mind, the hand of Jah had delivered them to Black Ark and therefor the musical fruits of this gift must be made manifest. The songs on this album range from the deep rasta/African chants of "African roots" to the neo-psychodelic horn and guitar solos of "Muto Ya Motema" to the distinctly "Scratch"-produced phase-shifted-and-lions-roaring roots reggae of "Bad food" and "Mengieb" to the more African sounding grooves and laments of "Nakoya" and "Guimpimbu Gienn". The singing is mostly in Lingala and some local Zairean dialects, but the musical flavor could have come from nobody else but Lee "Scratch" Perry. This is a missing link not only in Perry's musical career but between the music of the Mother Continent and Jamaica as well.

Teacher & Mr. T.