It’s been a long journey leading up to Jean Marie Bolongassa’s Sofrito debut. From arriving in Paris as a member of Ballet Nationale du Congo, to founding a pioneering afro-disco outfit, M’Bamina, few would have predicted that he’d release a record in tune with the afro-futurist efforts currently so popular at the cutting edge of electronic music. Serving up two afro-tinged stompers and a footwork machination not too dissimilar to the juke-leaning output of Black Acre artists Romare and Clap! Clap!, we have the pleasure of premiering opening track, ‘Disna Ngaï’.
Channelling his Congolese roots, Bolongassa’s intricate drum patterns are incredibly moreish. Due to the intensity of the drums from the start, you’d be forgiven for thinking they couldn’t propel the dance into further frenzy, but you’d be wrong. With the percussive onslaught lasting over five minutes, proceedings only appear to become more frantic as the track winds on. The only thing that seems to prevent ‘Disna Ngaï’ shaking free of its foundations are the staccato throbs of bass and sparse piano chords that underpin the more animated elements.