Le Voyageur

Papa Wemba, 1992

The high-pitched, and often melancholy, tone of Wemba's beautiful singing style is reminiscent of his traditional and rural beginnings in Kassa and of his mother, who sang traditional mourning songs for the deceased.

During the 1960s, Wemba received musical training of the highest order in Kinshasa, with legends like Tabu Ley Seigneur Rochereau and Jean Bosco Mwenda.

A younger generation of musicians, however, were intent on rebelling against the traditional rhumba style. Rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll and soul became part of the musical vocabulary of Zaïrean youth, and Wemba was a founding member of this new wave.

This album is a synthesis of true Zaïrean feeling, with sounds and structures that are immediately accessible to the Western ear - the mark of a truly mature musician.

Reviews

  • ...superior excursion into Zairean music. Le Voyageur provides a superior excursion into Zairean music. Wemba has taken the best of western pop techniques and plugged the music of his heritage into the electrifying pulses. Folk Roots (UK)
  • Le Voyageur is a brilliant blend of roots and digital flash... Supremely catchy motifs with springily stepping pop accessibility, and not a compromise in sight. Q Magazine (UK)
  • ...deep-rooted African feel with dense polyrhythmic arrangements that catapult the music into heavenly altitudes. 'Throughout, Kinshasa's best dressed voice carves a tuneful channel through rhumba rock and soukous sequences...whilst enhancing the deep-rooted African feel with dense polyrhythmic arrangements that catapult the music into heavenly altitudes.' Folk Roots (UK)