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Cdn Seben Steps Digitalcover 01 Square

Kongo Dia Ntotila - Seben Steps To Heaven

DNLW059 Released: 10 July 2012

‘Seben Steps to Heaven’ is the debut album by London based Congolese band Kongo Dia Ntotila. The core of the band formed around 2009 in West Yorkshire, when a group of African and western musicians began to play and learn new styles from each other. These were bassist/guitarist Mulele Matondo (DRC), guitarist John Kelly (UK), drummer David Lessie (DRC) and vocalist Dady Kisonga (DRC). Further members were gradually selected from a countrywide pool of both Congolese and western musicians, and the album was completed in 2011 before the band relocated to London. The vision amongst the founding musicians was to bring subtle changes to the sound of Congolese Rhumba, Cameronian Makossa , French/Caribbean Zouk and other Central African dance floor favourites, without compromising the music’s authenticity. This is achieved by skillfully (and sparingly!) adding some jazz harmonies and soloing, and a live horn section – reminiscent of the early years of Congolese Rhumba before the use of synth became all too common. The band has been making waves on dance floors across the UK, introducing these irresistible rhythms to an ever-widening audience.

‘Seben Steps to Heaven’ takes its title from one of the identifying characteristics of Congolese music - the ‘seben’. Similar in many ways to the coros and montunos in salsa, this refers to the passage/passages in almost every song on this album (usually towards the end) where the guitar plays a repeated phrase as the rhythm section plays a heavier groove, making everybody within earshot dance.....


Musicians:

Guitars: John Kelly, Mulele Matondo Bass: Mulele Matondo Drums: David Lessie Congas: Andy Sampson

Vocals: David Lessie, Dady Kisonga, Jethro Kinavuidi, Sarah Kelly, John Kelly, Chameau Maracas

Additional Percussion: David Lessie

Horns: Sean Hollis – Trumpet, John Kelly – Trombone, Liam Byrne – Tenor Saxophone

Songs by Kongo Dia Ntotila. Produced by Mulele Matondo and John Kelly Recorded at Pro2 Studios, Castleford (and various home studios) in 2010- 2011 Mixed and mastered at Pro2 Studios 2011 Engineered by Simon Mawson

Artwork by Oli Bentley of Split Design

Track Listing