Kasai Allstars are a 25-piece musical collective based in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The musicians originally come from five bands, all from the Kasai region, but originating from five different ethnic groups: the Songye, Lulua, Tetela, Luba, and Luntu. Some of these groups have endured conflicting relationships over the centuries, they each have their own culture, their own language and their own musical traditions, which were always thought to be incompatible until these musicians decided to pool their resources and form a "superband", at the instigation of Belgian producer Vincent Kenis
In 2008, they released an album on Crammed Discs entitled In the 7th Moon, the Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy by Magic, the third in the Congotronics series for the label (which also released material from the group Konono Nº1). The album was well received by Western music critics.
In November 2010, Crammed Discs released Tradi-Mods Vs. Rockers: Alternative Takes on Congotronics, a multi-artist album containing interpretations, covers and tributes to the music of Kasai Allstars, Konono Nº1 and other Congotronics bands, recorded by 26 indie rock and electronic musicians, including a.o. Deerhoof, Animal Collective, Andrew Bird, Juana Molina, Shackleton, Megafaun, Aksak Maboul, Mark Ernestus and others.
In 2011, Kasai Allstars took part in the Congotronics vs Rockers project, a "superband" including ten Congolese and ten indie rock musicians (also including members of Deerhoof, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Konono No.1, Skeletons and Juana Molina), who collaborated to create a common repertoire and performed at 15 major festivals and venues in ten countries.
Kasai Allstars' second full-length album, Beware the Fetish, came out in 2014. It consists (in the CD version) of 12 tracks totalling over 100 minutes of music. The album was extremely well welcomed by the press .
(as it appears on the album In The 7th Moon...):
- Mputu Ebondo 'Mi Amor': lead vocals
- Muambuyi: lead vocals, dancer
- Mbuyamba Nyunyi: lead vocals, bass likembe
- Kabongo Tshisensa: lead vocals, likembe, bass likembe
- Tandjolo: lokole (slit drum), lead vocals
- Tshilumba Muamba 'Baila' and Didi Bafuafua: xylophones
- Tshimanga Muamba: resonator drum
- Kalenga Ditu: likembe (thumb piano)
- Mopero and Niawu: electric guitars
- Kabese Ngandu 'Bondis': vocals, percussion
- Ngalula Ndaye Sylvie, Bosio Tokala Mamie, Yempongo Kadiya,
- Tete Mutungilayi and Kanku Nshinga Wa Buanda: vocals and dancing
- Mpanya Mutombo: lead vocals
- Gaby Nsapo Kilolo: guitar and vocals
- In the 7th Moon, the Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy by Magic (2008, Crammed Discs)
- The Congotronics Vinyl Box Set (2010): in April 2010, Crammed Discs have announced the imminent release of a limited edition box set, available only on pre-order and containing vinyl versions of Kasai Allstars' In The 7th Moon.. album, of the Congotronics 2 multi-artist album, of Konono N°1's Congotronics 1 and Assume Crash Position and Staff Benda Bilili's Très Très Fort. The box set also includes assorted bonuses featuring a 7" single featuring a collaboration between Kasai Allstars and US indie-folk-rock band Akron/Family, as well as videos and mp3s.
- Beware the Fetish (2014, Crammed Discs)
- Compilation appearances
- Congotronics 2: multi-artist album, including tracks and videos by Kasai Allstars, by its sub-groups Basokin and Masanka Sankayi, by Konono N°1, Bolia We Ndenge, Sobanza Mimanisa, Kisanzi Congo and Tulu. (2005, Crammed Discs).
- Tshileja: original track included in the compilation 20 Ways To Float Through Walls (2007, Crammed Discs).
- Tradi-Mods Vs. Rockers: Alternative Takes on Congotronics (2010, Crammed Discs), a double CD featuring reworks and reinterpretations of the music of Kasai Allstars, Konono No 1 and other Congolese bands, made by 24 indie rock and electronic musicians from Europe, Japan and the Americas.
- Jess Jarnow (30 September 2008). "Kasai Allstars". Phoenixnewtimes.com. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- Album review, Rolling Stone, October 2, 2008.
- Album review, SPIN, October 2008, p. 110.
- Tangari, Joe (2008-08-29). "Kasai Allstars: In the 7th Moon, the Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy by Magic". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2014-08-30.
- Bahn, Christopher (2008-10-13). "Kasai Allstars: In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish And Ate The Head Of His Enemy By Magic". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2014-08-30.
- "Release Details: CRAMMED DISCS". Crammed.be. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- "Tradi-Mods Vs. Rockers: Alternative Takes On Congotronics - Various Artists - Releases - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- Bahn, Christopher (2008-11-30). "Various Artists: Tradi-Mods Vs. Rockers". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2014-08-30.
- Caspar Llewellyn Smith. "The Guardian". the Guardian. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- "The Quietus". The Quietus. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- "The Arts Desk". Theartsdesk.com. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- "Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- "Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- Tangari, Joe (2008-07-07). "Kasai Allstars: Beware the Fetish". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2014-08-30.