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ARTIST
TITLE
Criola
FORMAT
LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
MFM 019LP MFM 019LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
5/5/2017

A mini LP of works by Denis Mpunga and Paul K., all recorded between 1980-1984. Combining elements of traditional African music with experimental electronics, the Belgian/Congolese duo released only a handful of tracks, scattered across a few rare LP and cassette compilations that were put out in the mid-eighties by obscure European labels. This release also includes a few previously unreleased songs that were found on the original master tapes. Relocating with his family from the Congo to Belgium in 1973 at the young age of 13, Denis Mpunga grew up in Liege and quickly became deeply embedded in its musical scene, forming the group Gomma Percussions in 1979; a percussive group driven by West African influences. A side project Eko-Kuango formed by the Gomma Percussion members also saw the release in 1985 of the now much sought after 12" Fura (1986), which also includes Denis Mpunga on vocals. Denis has continued to produce and compose music, perhaps most notably writing the soundtrack for the Dardenne brothers's La Promesse (1996). Patrick Stas, who would release with Denis under the "Paul K." moniker, was a well-known local musician in Liege and considered something of a luminary figure in the electronic and experimental music scene in Belgium. Patrick would set up the independent cassette and vinyl label Home Produkt. Both well-known figures in Liege's music scene, the two of them would join forces in 1980 to work together on a soundtrack for a children's animation company called CAMERA etc, recording the Intermezzo tracks which are included here. Keen to experiment further as a duo, Denis would propose the idea of combining some more traditional songs or percussive African elements with Patrick's experiments with drum computers and synthesizers. Working around more conventional instruments such as guitar and bass, Denis would also bring balafons, senzas, and a zither to their recordings whilst Patrick would work with an array of synthesizers and drum machines, such as the Roland MC 202, TB 303, and TR 808, and the Korg MS20 and Monopoly. The recordings set out to play with and challenge preconceptions and expectations of African music and African culture. Together, Denis Mpunga and Paul K.'s, if somewhat brief, musical adventure would create a fascinating new musical language: African music born out of an industrial European landscape. 180 gram vinyl.