Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ambiance Congo for Sunday March 16, 2008

Listen live

3:00-5:00 Eastern time USA

The praise song is a Pan-African tradition that is still vital today. In Congolese popular music, the aspect of praise and praise-for-compensation in just about any and every song has become a new, added-on part of the music. This new element is called "mabanga". It seems many times that, no matter what any given song is about, the artists need to call out the names of patrons. This has become a new element that is almost constant today, a new cadence that is added to the music that is, primarily, a list of benefactors.This could be, in my opinion, tradition taking on a next logical step. I have to admit though, many many times, I try to imagine a song without the "mabanga"! This afternoon you'll hear lots and lots of songs for or about benefactors and they individual philanthropists or companies providing some underwriting. We'll compare the more traditional staight-up no excuses praise song with a few prime exaples of modern mabanga.
Many many thanks to my friend Minu who submitted the idea for this edition.

Here's an ablum we'll hear from this time around. The front cover seems like any other Choc Stars album.

But then check out the back of the sleeve! It is literally and ad for Skol beer, a great sponsor of modern Congolese music.

We'll hear songs for other individual and corporate sponsors and benefactors as well.

Here are a few of the other albums we'll hear from this time around. Enjoy!

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See the track listing for this edition here:

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  1. very interesting, i never heard of this. after each of my group meetings though, we get in a circle and give reverence or acknowledgment to anyone who has had an impact in our life, dead or alive. is this what you meant by patrons?

  2. The patronage for which mabanga is given is financial. A simple example may be found in live concerts. If you approach the singer and press a bill or two into his palm or shirt pocket or onto his forehead and tell him your name, he'll often ad lib a little line into the song in which your name is mentioned.
    Wealthy Congolese now pay to have their names recited as a part of modern recorded music.