Album: Kinshasa One Two

Artist: DRC Music

Grade: B+

DRC Music is a collective of producers assembled by Damon Albarn to collaborate with contemporary Congolese musicians. The proceeds of this project will support the humanitarian efforts of Oxfam in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kinhasa One Two has that rare quality of charity music; it sounds as good as its intentions.

The tracks on the album are an intriguing synthesis of electronica and distinctively African rhythms, with strong vocals set against a backdrop of rumbling percussion. Each song has its own appeal, but some tracks really stand out. The opening number, ‘Hallo’ is a superbly chilled duet by Albarn and Nelly Liyenge, while ‘Lingala’ has the elegiac quality of a Four Tet mix, and ‘If You Wish to Stay Awake’ is a brilliantly dark, ambient piece. This is all perhaps an acquired taste, but one certainly worth acquiring.

In a Nutshell: Great music for a worthy cause.