Sam Cox, Digital Editor
The pulsating rhythms of the Fulu Miziki Kolektiv shook the stage at Strange Brew last week, bringing the sustainably sourced rhythms of the Democratic Republic of Congo to central Bristol.
Clad in costumes that are part Sun Ra Arkestra and part Isn’tses, Fulu Miziki take to Strange Brew’s stage in the midst of yet another heatwave. Whether it was a ploy to sell more drinks at the bar, or an attempt to recreate the Central African climate from which the group exist and evolve, the air remains firmly unconditioned. The crowd, in turn, dance in an entranced mass to the infectious rhythms of the Fulu Miziki Kolektiv for a Friday night of musical ecstasy and catharsis.
Fulu Miziki’s sound is a curious blend of the human and the mechanic. Unstoppable, driving four-to-the-floor rhythms evoked techno while the band’s instruments, made from cartons, spanners, pipes and any material that can be hit hard enough, lent an earthiness to a sound that was still unmistakably live. While limbs became extended mechanical parts, the group created their most affecting sound when they deployed their airtight harmonies and throaty, chest-beating, guttural vocals. The Strange Brew floor began to shake, a product of an increasingly frenzied audience under the Kolektiv's rhythmic spell.
The fact that their tour had been twice or thrice postponed due to visa issues, an issue that similarly plagued Equiknoxx’s brand of avant-dancehall at Strange Brew last month, is perhaps an indictment of the realities of touring in country which places an increasing importance on borders. However the near-full house at Strange Brew proves that music can, and will, always defy borders.
Featured Image: Sam Cox
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