Planet Ilunga releases an anthology on the Congolese 78 rpm label Esengo
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  Rock-a-Mambo & l'African Jazz

Souvenirs from Esengo


  ∞∞∞ Release date: 30 June 2014 ∞∞∞

After the first release on Grand Kalle & l’African Jazz , for Planet Ilunga the quest continues to recover the Congolese music history. With this new compilation we delve into the back catalogue from Esengo, one of the labels that operated in the former Leopoldville in the fifties. In a five-year time span (1957-1961) this publishing company - named after the Lingala word for ‘pleasure’ - released over 400 records, all issued on 78 rpm records. This compilation focuses on the recordings of two of the most important and earliest ensembles of Esengo: Rock-a-Mambo and l’African Jazz. Their recordings were characterized by a very melodic thinking and were often drenched in Afro-American rhythms. It resulted in an unparalleled joie de vivre, lots of pidgin Spanish and extremely danceable tunes.

♪  Listen to some samples on YouTube (preview)

Please note that several tracks on 'Souvenirs from Esengo' are remastered from the original 78 rpm records pressed in former Leopoldville. These have now been reissued for the very first time. Planet Ilunga collaborated for this release with a few 78 rpm and vinyl collectors. I would once again like to thank them for sharing their rare records.

* Full tracklist Souvenirs from Esengo *

Vinyl release

* 2LP: 28 tracks (total running time: 77:06)
* Comes with a 28-page booklet (in English) with lyrics in Lingala and lots of information and pictures from the Esengo-era
* Full artwork gatefold
* 180 gram vinyl
* Remastered
* Limited and numbered to 500 copies (no repress)
* Worldwide distribution through carefully selected vinyl shops

Order info

Shops and distributors who would like to distribute this release, please contact me for wholesale details. For all the others: I will launch a Bandcamp store soon, but you can already pre-order your copy of this release by sending me an email ( I will send it out or you can pick it up in Brussels by the end of June, probably a little bit earlier. For those who don't have the first Planet Ilunga release (Grand Kalle & l'African Jazz 2LP) yet, feel free to ask for a copy. I still have some left.

More info on the label

Planet Ilunga is a one-man project, specializing in reissuing modern music from the fifties and sixties from different African countries on vinyl. In the following years, Planet Ilunga wants to contribute to restore the rich Congolese music archive, in the first place through high quality vinyl issues and extensive booklets. Your sharing of this mailing or this info to fellow (Congolese) music lovers would be very welcome.

Thanks for reading,

More info & orders:
Please find updates soon on the Facebook page and the Planet Ilunga blog
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