Following the barminess of debut single ‘Unverfiable Religious Experience Blues’, London newcomers Human Resources offer a second sliver of their debut EP Malperfect in new track ‘Kinshasa Shuffle’. It’s possible you’re wondering what a ‘Kinshasa Shuffle’ is, and that’s perfectly okay, but the song might not have the most straightforward explanation you’re after. The band themselves describe it as an ode to dance crazes of the past, citing ‘The Hokey-Cokey’ and ‘The Cha-Cha Slide’ as primary touchstones for their inspiration, though it’s hard to imagine how DJ Casper’s aerobics class opus would ever come to assert itself as an influence on absurdist art-rock. Anyway, here we are.
What begins as a brooding post-rock dirge complete with ominous synths totally transitions a minute in to an off-kilter tangle of saxophone and syncopated licks. There are certainly traces of contemporaries within the British new wave of punkish weirdos within Human Resources’ sound, evoking the likes of KEG and Moreish Idols in their delivery. Equally, there’s more than just a doff of the cap towards the music of the Congolese capital that appears in the title, with the complex time signatures instantly bringing to mind a time I watched a bunch of festival dads incompetently try and move in time to KOKOKO!
As for the dance itself, the protagonist that vocalist Harry Handford sings about seemingly contorts herself into myriad shapes, performing moves that see her pouncing over fences and leaping country miles as part of her routine. It’s a sure-fire recipe for overexertion, but with a groove as addictive as this it’s hard to imagine not wanting to throw your limbs around in wild abandon. Granted, ‘Kinshasa Shuffle’ isn’t going to become as ubiquitous as ‘Macarena’, nor is it destined to become a staple of school discos around the world, but did Los Del Rio ever make anything as good as this? Hell no, they didn’t.
Words: Reuben Cross // Photo: Laurence Dutton
‘Kinshasa Shuffle’ is out now. Stream and purchase this track plus previous release ‘Unverfiable Religious Experience Blues’ via Bandcamp.