Makeshift and Polished: Konono No. 1

A performance by Konono No. 1.

Musicians and dancers in a performance by the Konono No. 1 band. hide caption

toggle caption

Konono No.1 is a 12-piece group hailing from Kinshasa, Congo. The band's debut album, Congotronics, introduces the world to their unique sound.

That sound has been honed by years of performance, mostly in Kinshasa's outdoor cafes. And it has developed as the group has found ways to make music without being able to spend thousands on equipment.

Whether for percussion or for melodic instruments like thumb pianos, Konono No. 1 has long used salvaged car parts and other discarded machinery to create their musical tools. The results, heard on Congotronics and in the band's live shows, are full of idiosyncratic energy.

Web Resources



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor