Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Pamelo Mounk'a

Further Notes:

Subjects for Further Research [1980s]: In the fall of 1982 my friend Sue Stewart took me to an African disco in Soho, London. The DJ played five or six songs that sounded real fine, then put on something by this Congo-Brazzaville soukous veteran, I know not what. I jumped, I raved, I gibbered. Six months later Sue brought me a copy of Mounk'a's Propulsion!, on French Sonics, thirty-plus minutes of soukous whose understated floodtide grew into my groove record of the year. Utilizing my scanty research facilities, I determined that Mounk'a's most famous song was the niftily entitled "L'Argent Appelle l'Argent," with an album of the same name attached. I never found it, to my knowledge never even heard it: never saw Propulsion! anywhere else either. I did eventually locate something called 20 ans de carrière, and bought it against the advice of Ronnie Graham's Da Capo Guide to Contemporary African Music. Graham was right. If you run across Propulsion!, scarf it up. And if you find "L'Argent Appelle l'Argent," tape one for me.