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Publié par Planet Ilunga

Planet Ilunga & Roots Vibration present
Lee 'Scratch' Perry - Roots from the Congo

With Seskain Molenga & Kalo Kawongolo

  ∞∞∞ Release date: March 27 ∞∞∞

Congo meets Jamaica on this exceptional reggae album from the late seventies. Licensed from Sanctuary and made in collaboration with Lee 'Scratch' Perry and Seskain Molenga and with liner notes by David Katz.

The Belgian labels Planet Ilunga, specializing in researching, documenting and releasing Congolese music from the fifties to seventies, and Roots Vibration, devoted to reissuing classic roots singles and albums, join forces for the first time. Together making one of the most enigmatic reggae albums available again. Recorded and produced in the late seventies at Lee Perry's Black Ark studio in Kingston, Jamaica.

The album which Congolese artists Seskain Molenga (African Fiesta National, Empire Bakuba, TPOK Jazz...) and Kalo Kawongolo recorded together with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry is a most remarkable project to surface from the Black Ark studio. It's also one of the most misrepresented of Perry’s productions, with myriad explanations for its existence falling far short of what actually happened.

The intention of the original band, formed in France by the producer Bernadette Duget and composed of a mixture of Congolese, Senegalese and French musicians, was to head to Jamaica to record a rock album with African undercurrents in Lee Perry's Black Ark studio.  However, in Jamaica things didn't go according to plan and the project turned out to be a failure. The Congolese duo Seskain Molenga and Kalo Kawongolo continued working with Lee 'Scratch' Perry and this collaboration would eventually bear an unexpected reggae fruit. These recordings were originally released on LP in 1979 and re-released in 1991, yet the vinyl album remains highly sought-after.

Now finally re-issued with extensive liner notes by the American journalist, author and reggae aficionado David Katz (assisted by Bart Cattaert (Planet Ilunga) for the interviews with Seskain Molenga). This reissue sheds more concerted light on the complex tale that lies behind the work. Most notably thanks to the emergence of 'new' eyewitness accounts such as Seskain Molenga, Wasis Diop and Lee Perry.

The debut album by Seskain Molenga and Kalo Kawongolo remains a unique slice of musical ingenuity, an intoxicating sonic storm that resulted from their temporary presence at the magical space of the Black Ark. 

The sound recording and quality of the original album is a story on its own (you will be able to read about this in our liner notes). It was quite an odyssey to get the sound right, without losing the original energy and ambiance of the recordings. We think we made it, but we invite you to listen for yourself in the samples below.

Vinyl-only release
* LP comes in a gatefold album sleeve with extensive liner notes (in English)
* 180 gram vinyl
* Restored and remastered tracks. Lacquer cut made at Dubplates & Mastering
* Artwork by Fiona E. Oikonomidou
* Limited edition release

Order info

Shops and distributors that would like to distribute this release, please contact me for wholesale details. For all the others: you can already pre-order your copy of this release by sending me an email at planetilunga@gmail.com or going to the shop page on the Planet Ilunga website. I will send it out or you can pick it up in Brussels around March 2020. For those who don't have the third, fourth and fifth release on Planet Ilunga, or the brandnew 'O.K. Jazz - 'La Rumba de mi Vida' compilation yet, feel free to ask for a copy.

More info on the label

Planet Ilunga specializes in archiving, documenting and sharing the "Rumba Lingala" sound from the fifties and sixties from both the Congos. In the following years, Planet Ilunga wants to contribute to restore the rich Congolese music archive, in the first place through high quality vinyl issues and extensive booklets. Your sharing of this mailing or info to fellow (Congolese) music lovers would be very welcome.

Thanks for reading,
Bart from Planet Ilunga     

More info & pre-orders: planetilunga@gmail.com
Please find updates soon on the Planet Ilunga Facebook page and website
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