The two original Kass Kass albums - Kass Kass and Kass Tout have been digitally re-mastered and re-released in one CD.
Kass Kass introduced dynamic, new dimension soukous from a trio of skilled musicians who came to light in some of the most influential orchestras from the Congo (formerly Zaire & Rep. Congo).
Kass Kass comprised master guitarist Syran Mbenza, and vocalists Jean Papy and Passi Jo. Syran Mbenza played with Tabu Ley's Afrisa and Sam Mangwana's African All Stars, before forming Les Quartres Etoiles, the first soukous supergroup. Jean Papy also sang with Afrisa and later replaced Nyboma in the "4 Stars". Passi Jo toured with Mangwana's African All Stars before helping to found Les Officiers of African Music, and the two vocalists have also appeared together with Mose Fan Fan's Somo Somo, and the African All Stars.
The three musicians pooled their talents under the Kass Kass banner with their debut album also titled Kass Kass, that heralded a new age of "hot licks" soukous. It was (in 1987, and still is in 2009) music of the moment in which the classic elegance of soukous guitar and the ebullient Lingala vocals got a booster charge from electronic rhythms and synthesizer. Recorded in Paris and mixed in Washington DC, this is hot music with a cool streak - it's Kass Kass!
(Original text - Ewenso, 1987)