Congotronics International is a supergroup featuring Konono Nº1, Kasai Allstars, Deerhoof, Juana Molina, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, and SkeletonsMatt Mehlan, and they'll release their debut album, Where’s The One?, on April 29 via Crammed Discs. This is a project that's been brewing for 11 years, and features s 21 tracks, including live concert recordings and studio tracks produced in the years before, during, and after the 2011 "Congotronics vs. Rockers" tour that featured all of groups and artists mentioned above. Here's more from the press release:

For several months ahead of the tour, a fascinating remote writing process began to take place. Demos started flying back and forth over the internet. Someone would start a song and send it on to the others, the same track sometimes traveling three times around the globe as Vincent Kenis was in Kinshasa with the Congolese artists, while Juana Molina, Deerhoof, Skeletons’ Mehlan, and Wildbirds & Peacedrums worked from their respective studios located in Buenos Aires, New Mexico, New York, and Stockholm. Everyone eventually flew to Brussels to finish writing what would become Where’s The One?, and to rehearse for the Congotronics vs. Rockers tour.

During these intense sessions, the specificities of the supergroup emerged: there was to be no leader, with everything conceived collectively, and many languages were spoken in the band (Lingala, Tshiluba, English, Spanish, French, Swedish), but few people spoke more than one or two. The musical languages were another story, however, and simultaneously more and less mutually intelligible: more, because verbal communication wasn’t always necessary in those matters; less, because massive gaps sometimes needed to be bridged (the album title itself Where’s the One? refers to this barrier and the initial difficulties in agreeing on how to understand each other’s rhythms: “where does the first beat actually fall?”). The recording process continued remotely on and off in the 11 years that followed until it was finalized in 2021 by Deerhoof’s John Dieterich and Greg Saunier and Crammed Discs’ Marc Hollander. The album's mixing by Saunier serves to elevate its live recordings into a seamless whole alongside the studio tracks.

You can listen to two tracks, "Beyond The 7th Bend" and "Banza Banza," that sound like the wild hodgepodge of styles the contributors brought to the project, below.

Both Deerhoof and Juana Molina will be on tour, separately, this spring.

attachment-congotronics international wheres the one

Where’s The One? Tracklist:
1. Where's The One?
2. Resila
3. Kule Kule Redux
4. The Chief Enters Again
5. Château Rouge
6. Super Duper Rescue Allstars
7. Tita Tita
8. Doubt/Hope
9. Banza Banza
10. Kabongo Celeste
11. On The Road
12. Beyond the 7th Bend
13. Many Tongues In Our Band
14. For Augustin
15. Even The Boa Can’t Swallow A Viper
16. Mama’s Way/Above The Tree Line
17. Ambulayi Tshaniye
18. Bombo & Sifflets
19. Tshitua Fuila Mbuloba
20. Mulume/Change
21. Tandjolo's Greetings

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