The duo Montparnasse Musique has released “Panter,” a single from their upcoming EP. The track comes with a video from the streets of Kinshasa, directed by Renaud Barret, where resourcefulness is the law, and creativity is child’s play.
Embark on a journey through the neighborhoods of Kinshasa where the streets, for lack of alternatives, make for a gigantic playground where the kids who invent their own scenarios, soundtrack and superheroes. This video, directed by Renaud Barret (Staff Benda Bilili, Système K), puts us in their shoes, running on the sand or jumping on trampolines, tinkering with their instruments like their elders from Kokoko or Fulu Muziki. It fits perfectly with “Panter,” the first track of an EP by the duo Montparnasse Musique, which features the French-Algerian producer Nadjib Ben Bella and the South African DJ Aero Manyelo.
The former is passionate about North African trance music, such as the Gnawas of Morocco, and also by the sounds of sub-Saharan Africa (he has accompanied the group Amazones d’Afrique on tour, which PAM previously covered). As for the latter, he is one of the figures of South African house music whose work has travelled far beyond the borders of his country, through international sets and popular remixes (like “Margarita” by Jupiter & Okwess). His track “Aero Mathata,” featuring the Mahotella Queens, opens the compilation mi Mandela, produced by Idriss Elba.
The two met in Paris, at the Montparnasse metro station (hence their name), after a show by the group Batuk, which featured Aero Manyelo. The Frenchman proposed that they finish the evening at his place: “I had promised beers and good vibes, but when Manyelo arrived, it became something else” tells Nadjib Ben Bella. With the Cuban guitarist Kabeya, who was also there, the evening turned into a long jam session and the desire to work together was born. With it, the idea to collaborate with instrumentalists, by associating instruments and electronic production. As Nadjib dreamed of collaborating with Congolese musicians, connections like Cubain Kabeya and Michel Winter (who produced Kasai All Stars and Mbongwana Star’s tours) allowed them to organize studio sessions. On “Panter,” we find the singer (Muambuyi) from the famous crew, featuring electric, crazy likembes), and members of the group Basokin. Add to that the raw rhythms and synths of Nadjib Ben Bella and the DIY synthesis of Aero Manyelo, and you’ll have in “Panter” a taste of what awaits you in their next EP, Montparnasse Musique, which will be released by Real World.