Titi Bakorta – Molende

Titi Bakorta’s debut is a singular blend of genre-fluid dance music, buoyed by his distinctly magnetic voice

Album Review by Joe Creely | 21 Aug 2023
  • Titi Bakorta – Molende
Album title: Molende
Artist: Titi Bakorta
Label: Nyege Nyege Tapes
Release date: 25 Aug

Nyege Nyege Tapes’ ever-broadening palette of central African experimentalism has pulled the total unknown prospect of Congolese multi-instrumentalist Titi Bakorta into the fold, bringing his beguiling collages of stuttering drum patterns, spindly guitar loops and arcade machine electronics with him. His work doesn’t have the sense of being at the genuine outer limits of forward-thinking dance music that a lot of the label's other output has, but what it does give is captivating, with an atmposphere like little else.

At its best it’s a truly eccentric record, unpredictability its defining strength. The way he drifts between guttural, strangulated groans and effortlessly clean Mr Showbiz vocals on lead single Molende becomes indicative of the record at large. It mutates through moods and textures in a way that feels completely impulsive, but always carries incredibly smoothly. Kop in particular feels like two or three songs jostling for attention, but all of it is reined under control by his gossamer vocals, while Nyonso Epesameli Nga has a remarkable, coiled energy that constantly feels at threat of spilling over, but is always wrestled back under control, be it with a belt of Bakorta’s sharp guitar playing or a blast of saxophone.

It’s an implacable, utterly bewitching record. Like little else you’ll hear this year.

Listen to: Molende, Kop, Nyonso Epesameli Nga