||Recorded in Brazzaville at 5/5 Tamaris studios, Jamais Sans Nous (Never Without Us) is a statement to remind fans and musicians alike that we couldn't do without the influence of Zaiko Langa Langa. They showed that a big band could record a sophisticated album in Africa, in a time where western world record technology guaranteed a success.
Reviens Hyppau (Come back Hyppau) is a uptempo Zaiko LL number, with an instrumental version that showcases their work. Lyrically, it is plain love story of a woman who is crying for her lover to comeback otherwise she will kill herself. The Sebene is always on point as you would expect of the creator of the style.
Ngomba moko te eleki makinisi na molayi
Ebongi oyekola kolinga, pe koyeba mabe apeyi ezali
Que na vivre sans Hyppau
No mountain is higher than a man's thought
You need to learn to love, and to know who is to blame
than to live without Hyppau
Dede is another hit. With the incorporation of Malage who used to be in TP OK Jazz, their choir is improved. He was the driving force behind the project. He brought a certain maturity, as heard in Perseverer (Persevere)
Perseverer na vie ya lelo okominyokola tina
okolanda vie ya presse
keba okosimba kisi, keba okoyina baninga
Persevere in your life, you will learn
you will try to live a fast life
you might search for witchcraft, you might hate your friends
Zaiko LL has found a conscious in this album. Just like when the late Dido Yongo was recruited, the legendary band finds his place in contemporary Congolese music. They din't only sing about love, but they gave advice to their listeners.
Another track I'm recommending is Pupa. It is straight Zaiko LL music. It has the pre verse (slow tempo), a bridge (mid-tempo) and the Sebene (fast tempo). You need to listen to the end instrumentation with the electric guitar solo dialoguing with the synth. Awesome. Nyoka Longo and co are back with what make Zaiko an uncontested dancing machine
With only 6 tracks and 2 instrumentals versions, the album may fall short. But less is more. The concise lay out allows more exploration of the music and the lyrics.