Soukous is not a music that I loved instantly. Instead, it took my going to Africa and being force-fed the tunes to appreciate their true essence. My habit progressed slowly during the many taxi rides, cafe indulgences, club outings and video watchings I endured while I traveled across the continent.
Upon my return to the United States, I yearned to hear the music I so embraced while overseas—yet I was without a hint as where to begin. Even with today’s IT communication marvels, there still exists relatively little information about the Congolese soukous legacy and, in particular, what are the classic albums to buy. So I began the hunt myself. For four years I searched the web, scoured music stores, studied album liner notes and consulted others at concerts. Finally, I am proud to say that I have amassed a decent collection and knowledge base of the music. That is not to say I am an expert—there are so many more with greater knowledge. But my contribution is to help fill the void I discovered on my quest.
These pages are geared toward helping others with the same desire to learn about these tantalizing grooves. I take this opportunity to share my research of the albums, bands and individuals I found to be masters of this incredible genre. Within, you will find the fruits of my labor. I am not saying these are the only albums and the best bands out there—but this does highlight the serene melodies I have found to date. Enjoy.