Kenge Kenge

Introducing Kenge Kenge

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If you want to hear the real roots of Kenyan benga music, then the eight-member Kenge Kenge is the place. Resolutely acoustic, they hew closely to the tradition rather than the modern electric style, singing in Luo. The material is a mix of the traditional, such as "Owang' Winyo" and the self-composed, with cuts like "Otenga," which is based on a Luo dance style. With fiddles, flutes and horns, as well as the native nyangile, it's a glorious noise, with plenty of riveting vocals. To be fair, it's probably not something to draw a large audience, even among world music fans. Although excellently and clearly recorded, it's simply too raw for mass consumption, uncompromising in its approach. Artistically, however, that's an excellent quality. It might be in your face, but there's great beauty in that.

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