Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lita Bembo's European albums

Singer Lita Bembo led up one of my very favorite bands, Orchestre Stukas. The Stukas made one album that I know of without Lita Bembo, BALLADE A LIBREVILLE.
In the mid 1980s, Lita Bembo made at least two solo albums in Europe on which he was backed by musicians other than the Stukas.

One of these albums, CONFLIT, was cut in Brussels and it is a pretty good record. Lita Bembo, as a singer, and his music are both very true to the music for which he was beloved in the former Zaire. The other musicians on the album are only listed as being other scandalously unnamed Zaireans from Brussels assisted by named Belgians. The keyboards on this album are replaced by a synthesizer and it is brought farther into the foreground than we would have heard keyboards with the Stukas. Played by Roland Dechamps, the synth carries some wild and wonderful riffs that I believe were intended to reflect the original Stukas sound.
Listen to this album here:
The other European album, NOUVEAU RYTHME SACCADE, is touted on the sleeved as being "La Renaissance D'Une Legende", but it is a much less successful album.
This recording is almost as weird and out of character for Lita Bembo as the oufit he sports on the sleeve. The record has it's moments and Lita Bembo still belts it out with all the enthusiasm and style we know him for, but the compositions fall somewhere between the soukous and disco genres. Judge for yourself: