Remmy Ongala is a household name in Tanzania, and his fame has spread worldwide with Songs for the Poorman
. Born in Eastern Zaire (Congo), he was once a member of Kenya's fabled Orchestre Makassy, and his own sound is a blend of Congolese soukous with the lighter, funkier sounds of Kenya and Tanzania. Ringing guitar lines and loping bass lines counterpoint Ongala's soulful vocals on eight songs concerning serious topics such as poverty, injustice, death, and, of course, human passion. Both danceable and intelligently listenable, his music is validation for a culture where music is an integral force in everyday life. --Derek Rath
The Steady, Melodic Drive of Zanrean-style Soukous is at the Root of Matimila's Music, Lifted by the Fluid East African Guitar Style and Infectious Tanzanian Rhythms. The Music Has a Broad, Spacious Quality, with Hints of Latin and Caribbean Influences. Above this Soar the Rich, Soulful Vocals of Remmy Ongala.