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Orchestra Bakuba-Mayopi


Congolese band formed in 1972 (according to the CD sleeve here) or 1973 (according to Gary Stewart’s Rumba on the River) that took its name from the first two letters in the names of its three principals: singer Madilu Bialu System, guitarist Yossa Taluki and Pires, another singer.


The group, as Stewart notes, “enjoyed moderate success but never posed a threat to Kinshasa’s first-tier bands” although it had a couple of hits in Zunguluke and Pamba Pamba. The former received a release in East Africa and other songs may have too.


The band split up in 1976 with Madilu first forming Orchestra Pamba-Pamba with Soki Vangu then going on to spend a brief, unhappy stint in Tabu Ley Rochereau’s Afrisa International in the late 1970s before finding stardom when he joined Franco’s TPOK Jazz in 1980.


Madilu’s death on August 11, 2007 no doubt prompted the release of a CD compilation of the Bakuba-Mayopi’s recordings. It appeared on the Congolese Solem label in November 2007, though I have never seen a copy.