Baloji shares “L’Art de la Fugue”

Baloji has shared a video for ‘L’Art de la Fugue’, taken from his recent, critically-acclaimed album, 137 Avenue Kaniama, which was released in March through Bella Union. “L’ Art de la Fugue is part of my short film, The Kaniama Show – a satire of propaganda TV in Africa,” Baloji says of the clip. “Featuring a choreography of acclaimed Belgian dance group Peeping Tom and a guest appearance of Shingai Shinowa (from The Noisettes), L’Art de la Fugue plays out as a bad soap opera.”

Congolese-born Baloji’s music stands at the crossroads of traditional African music and Afro-American music (hip-hop, soul, funk, jazz). Growing up in Belgium – which he describes as, “a land of surrealism and multiple identities” – Baloji discovered the culture of sampling in electronic music. The result is a record combining African rhythms – not only Congolese, but also Nigerian, Zimbabwean, and Ghanaian–with 808 productions and funk-influenced synths. By placing his resilience at the centre of his work, Baloji reconciles all these influences to enrich his projects.

137 Avenue Kaniama is a construct of multiple narratives, designed to provide the listener with a cinematic experience of one singular sequence. A filmmaker in his own right – with a short film shot in his native Democratic Republic of Congo en route this spring– Baloji cites a diverse range of filmmakers as influential, including Raoul Peck (“I’m Not Your Negro”), Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), and Robin Campillo (“Beats Per Minute”).

Baloji’s debut album Hotel Impala (2008) was followed by its Congolese reinterpretation, Kinshasa Succursale (2011). Celebrated by the world’s press (The New York Times, The Guardian, El Pais, Les Inrocks), Baloji then proceeded to play more than 200 live shows across the globe. In 2016 Baloji returned with a new EP, 64 Bits and Malachite on Bella Union.

Baloji’s 137 Avenue Kaniama LP is available now from Bella Union.