Friday, July 06, 2007
Yo pardon, this song been on my mind all week
fleur d'afrique sent me and Denis this clip from Jupiter's Dance a few weeks ago, and since then the song has permeated my consciousness that even in my dreams I find myself barking "TEE-ro-pa, tee-ro-LAY... Tee-ro-PAPA! SEK-SU MAH-SHEEN!"
Similar to Israel Vibration of Jamaica or even Atlanta's Ying Yang Twins, Kinshasa's Staff Benda Bilili are united by their disability: the band is composed of musicians afflicted with polio (and a few street kids who accompany them) but they refuse to acknowledge their physical handicaps as anything more than a psychological hurdle to be overcome through ironclad resolve, resourcefulness and resilience.
Benda Bilili's "Sex Machine" is not James Brown's or even Sly's; it is a miraculous contraption conceived via the universal ghetto algorithm that nothing plus nothing equals something; contrived of rusty tin, sugar-packet cardboard and bicycle spokes bound together by rugged chicken wire, the soft, worn rubber of old fan belts and the Grace of God; fueled by a cocktail of sweat, spit and seminal fluid; ignited and propelled by the ever-burning spark of the human spirit.