Boketshu 1er & Classic Swede Swede

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Boketshu 1er & Classic Swede Swede have been among the first trying to create a mix of traditional Congolese music and urban music. Created in 1985, Classic Swede Swede make what is now called "tradi-modern" music, based on Mongo folkore. With modern instruments, mainly bass and drums, they reinterprete traditional rhythms, but with the energy usually seen with modern Congolese music. They are popular for this energy, their dances such as the « Sundama » and the « Etutana », but foremostly for their lyrics on issues from modern Congolese society: politicians, preachers, street children and misery. Influences from modern Congolese music can be heard in the structure of the songs (the use of the sebene) and, on their latest albums, the, albeit timid, use of the electric guitar. Their first albums are presented as group efforts, later albums are signed by Boketshu, accompanied by Classic Swede Swede. Various off-shoots were formed over the years, for album titles please see the discography part below.

The group encountered difficulties with censorship by the Congolese authorities for their alledgedly obscene dances. A first European tour in 1989, and a recording released by Belgian label Crammed did a lot for their promotion though. In recent years, there has been a rise in the number and popularity of groups making this "musique tradi-moderne", coming from various regions of Congo. The most successful examples are Konono No.1 and les Bayuda du Congo.

Musicians on the album « Avant-Avant - Pas de recul »:
Lead vocals: Boketshu 1er, Petit Logique, Marcel Aisance, Noko Esombo Benjamin;
Bass: Bebeto, Kunter, Kelani, Ousmane;
Keyboards: Vasco da Gama, Kunterkelani;
Xylophone: Ngunza Tshimbalaga;
Drums: Nono Brevete;
Lokole: Leon Nkeka, Patsherie Mbonda;
Live drum: Paul Lukoke, Depaulca.

Born: as Boketshu Longombolo
Style: Traditional-modern Congolese music / tradi-moderne / mongo folkore

Boketshu 1er
Boketshu 1er

Title Year Label Remarks
Bo Kozika Na Kake 2011
Nani ateki Congo na biso? Finie la récréation! 2006 WAM Production
Pas de complexe 2005 Jacko Productions JP06103 Also available as DVD (JP06704)
A qui la faute? 2001 CD
Avant-Avant - Pas de recul 1999 Sonima SMCD 1339 CD
Mokili Etumba 1993 Umwe Records CD9401 CD
Toleki Bango (Miles Ahead) 1991 Crammed Discs/CramWorld CRAW1 CD
Albums by Swede Swede AC Milan:
Mbongo Ya Bibende 1995 R. Demack CD 250795 CD
Albums by Shada Maneno (former member of Swede Swede AC Milan):
L'Homme Orchestre - Live 1994 Galadisc BG3 CD
Albums by Swede Lokole (based in Abidjan, led by Dominique Louya):
Wait and See 2003 Mélodie 08865-2 CD
Malamou Tropic Music CD
Albums by Swede Swede Ibodo:
Sundama Sunde...Lenga Lenga Lenga 1993 Gillette d'Or 4 tracks CD

Various album covers,
Boketshu 1erSwede Swede
Page created November 2006

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