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Jazzy instrumentation and Congolese dance music: the sounds of a Kinshasa street party.





Montreal-raised artist DJ Karaba makes bright, vigorous dance music that speaks to her Congolese roots. This single from her latest EP features a collage of Afrobeats, Afro house, jazz and sounds native to the Central African country, including ndombolo, soukous and Congolese rumba. These ultra-kinetic, fast-paced genres are inherently playful and joyous, bearing similarities with coupé-décalé and zouglou in Cote D'Ivoire, Angolan kuduro and Nigerian Afrobeat.


Karaba lets the Congolese grooves do most of the heavy-hitting here, simply accentuating their joyful rhythms through a clean, unfussy arrangement that allows each brass, woodwind and percussion instrument to have its moment in the spotlight. Each element feels staggered, in a good way, as if Karaba was creating space for dancers to transition between moves and zippily articulate each step. That wouldn't be surprising since Karaba is a professional dancer herself, having toured with the likes of Drake and Selena Gomez. Pure, feel-good summertime music, "Nostalgie" transports listeners to a Kinshasa block party.


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