Photo: Juliette Abitbol

French-Congolese afro-punks TSHEGUE have shared “The Wheel,” their first new music since their debut EP, Survivor, in 2017.  The single comes with a video and a DJ Marfox remix.

TSHEGUE is the collaboration of Congolese singer Faty Sy Savanet and French-Cuban producer Nicolas Dacunha. The band’s name is a slang word for the boys who gather on the streets of Kishasa, Faty’s home before she moved to Paris. In her early 20s, a mutual friend brought Faty into contact with Bertrand Burgalat, whose Tricatel label has been referenced as a key influence by the likes of Air and Daft Punk. Burgalat encouraged her formative musical experiments until Faty was introduced to Dacunha, whose hypnotic beat patterns form the thumping backbone to the band’s work, spanning afro-punk, garage rock, and and electro-clash. 

The video was filmed amidst the chaotic traffic of Kinshasa and stars Club Etoile Rollers, a mixed-gender collective, some as young as 13, who skate the city’s streets. 

Director Renaud Barret recalls: “An ordinary day in Kinshasa. I’m in a taxi on Lumumba boulevard, when suddenly I’m in the middle of this gang of kids slaloming between cars. We exchange thumbs up, signs of complicity, rolling side by side for a moment. One of them spots my camera, and comes closer to shout “Hey sir! Do you wanna shoot something crazy?” I couldn’t refuse. This is the magic of a limitless city where each and every day brings incredible spontaneous possibilities. Now as I watch the beaming faces of these kids, thrown at full speed on their crumbling rollers, almost out of control, intoxicated by danger and only protected by their faith in good luck; I can only see a metaphor for the Congo’s situation. But also a middle finger to a society trying to maintaining an illusion that everything should be controlled, supervised. These free riders remind us that life must be lived in the present.”

The single precedes an upcoming new EP. 


01. The Wheel

02. The Wheel (DJ Marfox Remix)

The Wheel is available now via French indie Ekleroshock, with a stream of the single and the DJ Marfox remix below.