Track of the day: ‘Bitumba’ by Montparnasse Musique

Pan African production duo Montparnasse Musique return with ‘Bitumba’, the follow-up to their infectious debut single ‘Panter’. ‘Bitumba’ features a guest contribution from Kinshasa-based band Mbongwana Star, and is the second release on Real World Records new label imprint, Real World X.

The lyrics to ‘Bitumba’ were written by Mbongwana Star’s Cubain Kabeya, and are described as ‘a universal mantra’ and are sung in the Lingala language. Literally, the title means ‘war’. This refers not to a war of armies and guns, but rather the war of life itself. Everyday life demands that we fight and endure in order to succeed. Despite weaknesses and disadvantages, we must never allow ourselves to be held back. Instead, we should go forth with courage and determination.

R9 Mulodi and Randy Makana from Mbongwana Star. Photo credit: Michel Winter.

Montparnasse Musique are Algerian-French producer Ben Bella and South African DJ Manyelo. Together, they merge analog and digital sensibilities to create audacious dance music combining the acoustic grit of traditional Africa with the pulse of modern Johannesburg — gqom, kwaito, techno, afrohouse. The result is an inevitable evolution of Congotronics into a sharp-edged, club-ready sound.

‘Bitumba’ is the second single from Montparnasse Musique’s forthcoming self-titled EP on which they collaborate with key artists from Kinshasa’s vibrant music scene, including members of Kasai Allstars, Mbongwana Star, Basokin and Konono Nº1.

DOWNLOAD/STREAM ‘BITUMBA’

Montparnasse Musique - Bitumba (Official Audio)

Montparnasse Musique’s new single, ‘Bitumba’ (featuring Mbongwana Star) is out now. Their self-titled EP, which also features Konono Nº1, Kasai Allstars and Basokin, will be released on all digital platforms and limited edition 12” neon orange vinyl on Friday 3rd September 2021.

Pre-order the Vinyl EP

By Oran Mullan

Main image: Kids in Kinshasa. Photo credit: Renaud Barret.

Published on Thu, 20 May 21

Further reading

Bab L’ Bluz win Songlines Award for Best Fusion Act

The Moroccan-French four piece band's album 'Nayda!' was released last June on Real World Records.

‘Panter’ by Montparnasse Musique released on new imprint, Real World X

'Panter' combines the acoustic grit of traditional Africa with the pulse of modern Johannesburg.

Track of the day: ‘Curfew’ by Khalab & M’berra Ensemble

'Curfew' is taken from the forthcoming album M'berra, out on 23 April 2021.

A Lantern and a Bell: Track by Track

Emil Svanängen a.k.a. Loney dear and producer Emanuel Lundgren discuss the new album.