KOKOKO! – The Ransom Note Alternative Mix

5 Minute Read

Congolese collective, KOKOKO! have struck an energetic sonic cord since their debut album Fongola emerged in 2019.

Known for their innovative use of recycled materials to create unique sounds, they’ve picked up accolades including the Best Live Band award by AIF and notable slots on NPR’s Tiny Desk and Boiler Room and graced the likes of SXSW, Green Man, and Pitchfork Festival, and been featured on the soundtracks for Grand Theft Auto and FIFA. Second album, BUTU, is out this Friday July 5 on Transgressive Records, along with the lead single “Mokili” and a London show on October 1 at Village Underground.


Inspired by Kinshasa’s vibrant nightlife, BUTU dives deep into the city’s chaotic after-dark energy, celebrating its joyful and creative spirit. The album features field recordings and “ready-made percussion” like detergent bottles, distorted to capture the frenetic night sounds. With influences spanning West African and South African kuduro and kwaito, BUTU showcases a more electronic, upbeat sound and progression from their debut.

Using their music as a form of protest and expression in a country facing severe human rights violations and conflict we invited KOKOKO! to guide us through their own aural voyage.

Listen and read the interview below:

Please introduce yourself…
Who are you:
We are KOKOKO!

Where are you:
We are in Liverpool, playing tonight

What are you:
We are a high voltage rush, electric stimulation, a ball of ambiance, flies filled heads vibrating… formed in Kinshasa DRCongo

Where was the mix recorded?
It’s more of a selection to listen to, it was recorded in Barcelona

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Get to your inner curious place, close your eyes, sip on something you like

What should we be wearing:
What you wouldn’t dare, just go far out and dare

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format.
Anywhere, a hot street bar in Kinshasa, anything can happen, the system / tech doesn’t matter if the enrgy and passion is real, it’s overheating, distorted, the amp might explode, that place.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
So much range in there, but love this Zazou Bikaye vibe, slow and deep, I think it’s the opener

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Not sure about all time, but there are a lot of singeli mixes from Tanzania that sound amazing at the moment, distorted.

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Maybe Optimo and Dj Arafat (RIP) just for all the possible itineraries and surprises, passion, eeccentrism from Arafat, dance moves, curious blends etc..

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
Cassette first, then any mp3 tools on a computer, mini jack out, it’s all about the music and passion, gear doesnt make up for the lack of carisma or ideas.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
Well the track you start sets the tone, it’s a statement at the moment depending on where, what time, what crowd.. the last track will be important only of you got people with you all along, in our case we play live and the last track achieves / execute people (in a good way) hopefully you’d be left in a state of high after it, after a good trance, loosing control..

What were the first and last records you bought?
Pepe Kale and Niecy blues

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
A mix of Fumbwa with fufu, and spicy




If it was an animal what would it be?
An okapi, zebra legs pants and a long neck to nod to the music

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything…
It’s always possible just fade that thing or stop and start

Upcoming in the world of…
We have our new album Butu out on Transgressive this 5th of july, lots of live shows, make sure you come and taste that energy live, like your tongue on a battery

Anything else we need to discuss.
Stay informed on the situation in DRCongo, support DRCongo and Congolese people who are being exploited as well as their ressources, by countries and brands and are being left with nothing, no benefits but war and hardship. DRCongo is full of amazing people, ingenious, creative, artists, entrepreneurs, fun, loving etc etc… who have suffered too much.