Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Konono No 1: Assume Crash Position [Crammed Discs, 2010]
I don't expect their diminishing lo-fi claque to care, but the third album from these briefly modish Kinshasa techno-primitives is also their best, for solid yet marginal reasons that boil down to recording quality: the buzzing distortions of their DIY-amped likembes are more distinct, and so are the unpop although not therefore untrained voices of three singers it is safe to assume got their first lessons before they were three. A jam band to the core, they don't craft their "songs" any more cunningly, but the effect is more song-like. Then, after 52 minutes, there's an unbuzzy finale: four minutes of acoustic likembe and aged voice which I call a coda and you may call a bore. To my medium-fi ears, this is where to begin. If having begun one then chooses not to continue, that would be reasonable. There's a lot of great music in the world--even in Kinshasa still I bet. A-