hate to invoke the somewhat cliche adage of the first world making depressive, whiny pop music, and the third world expressing nothing but unadulterated and unstoppable JOY through their celebratory grooves... but it's often true isn't it. in the words of my friend ivan: "it's like, we know life is hard, and there ain't much we can do to change lots of shit, so let's get this party started, NOW. no, not 10 minutes later. NOW."
both of these vocalists are relatively new to me, and i don't know much about them at present time other than the to-die-for voices -- Mbilia is like a high alto or soprano, and Mpongo is a deeper, at times richer alto. both of these albums, picked entirely randomly from my small growing collection of their surely immense discography, came out in the 80s. but where as a lot of western pop productions from the 80s favored a palette of sounds particular to that era, these albums, to me at least, represent a much more timeless approach to pop music. i was listening to one of these while jogging the other day... bliss on the tracks (even as my ganja riddled lungs were trying to keep up).
M'bilia Bell - Boya Ye - Ba Gerants Ya Mabala
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Mpongo Love - Monama Elima vol 1