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137 Avenue Kaniama

by Baloji

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Grace Villamil
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Grace Villamil reminds me of the lighter side of everything but with the depth. Favorite track: L'hiver Indien - Ghetto Mirador.
Tristan Braybrooke
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Tristan Braybrooke My face is just still melting from the high life to noughties-radio-hiphop transition on L'hiver Indien.

You need this album in your life! Favorite track: Bipolaire - Les Noirs.
Raymond Stewart
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Raymond Stewart HipHop/Rap is for me, an acquired taste. I've come to appreciate it over the years thanks to artists like Madlib and MF Doom. Although I cannot understand French, rap from other cultures is appealing to me. I find myself drawn into the energy of the music and delighted when the artist features influences faraway from vintage R&B and Soul music. Boloji very much succeeds in this way to my ear.
CircuitBenT thumbnail
CircuitBenT Amazing vibes and ditto lyrics. I can't stop dancing to this vibrant record, thanks!
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    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of 137 Avenue Kaniama via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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Baloji, or the flamboyant troubadour of “World Beat” By Alain Mabanckou (Prix Renaudot, Man Booker International finalist)

The album 137 Avenue Kaniama is the confirmation of the formidable artistic statement we all became aware of from the release of Hotel Impala, Baloji’s first solo album, in 2008. That first album was the first step on the path of a great aesthetic project: talking about the fractures in the world using the sounds of our time, without getting too far away from the heritage of the musical trailblazers of the dark continent. If the Nigerian Fela Kuti ennobled Afro Beat, year after year Baloji takes the path of what I would describe as World Beat, a path that takes a whisper of the world’s torment from his politically fragile native Congo, all the way to his sisters and brothers caught up in the cycle of migration between the North and the South…

137 Avenue Kaniama is the distillation of a rhythmic atmosphere which calls on the musical heritage of the 1970s, that era of artistic apotheosis, when Afro-American artists were inspired by African music and vice versa.

137 Avenue Kaniama is also a book, with all its references (allusions to Dany Laferrière, or coopting the inventive energy of Tchicaya U’Tamsi and his famous expression, “Congaulois”, etc.). We are in a patchwork universe here, rich in words, parables, a universe of stories, poetry in motion, which points a finger at the failings of our societies, now ravaged by collateral damage from globalisation. Baloji, with his legendary flamboyance, offers an artist-witness’s response to his era. Now it’s up to us to inhabit this space where freedom takes the form of art!


released March 23, 2018


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Baloji Belgium

Baloji is an artist in motion, a musician, poet, film director, a man of images and ideas.

Baloji means “man of science” in Swahili, but during the colonial period, that meaning shifted as a result of Christian evangelisation, to signify “man of the occult sciences” and then “sorcerer”.

Baloji was born in Lubumbashi (DRC Congo) and grew up in Belgium.
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