Titi Bakorta almost didn't make it. Born in and raised in Kinshasa, the Congolese multi-instrumentalist was on his way to Uganda when he fell of the boat as it traversed the mighty Congo River. Unable to swim, Bakorta was saved by a friend who dragged him to the closest city Kisangani, where he was unexpectedly acquainted with local singer Dancer Papalas. Soon they were performing in bands together, traveling across the continents and settling in Tanzania, South Sudan and Dubai - they even appeared in front of General Defao, the beloved Congolese vocalist who fronted legendary soukous bands Grand Zaiko Wawa, Choc Stars and Big Stars. Now based in Kampala, Bakorta offers his own unique take on Congolese pop and folk sounds, weaving traditional elements through a psychedelic lattice of guitar loops, mangled voices and eccentric beatbox rhythms on his debut full-length. He bends woodblock snaps on 'Kop' into stuttered blurs, wailing emotionally over twanging riffs and bizarre, theatrical xylophone twinkles. It's still pop music on some level, but curved around Bakorta's unwieldy personal narrative - there's a sense that everything could unravel at any time but it all hangs together, strengthened by Bakorta's confident, contemporary production smarts. 'Elles Vais' is more airy, with celestial soukous vocals that float above tight, electronic drums. Tangled guitar echoes overlap each other like dense, weaved tapestries, contrasting perfectly with Bakorta's urgent, driving pulse. Occasionally, he transcends completely, like on 'Molende' where his chants and phrases neatly flutter between praise music and contemporary R&B. "Hustling, hustling, hustling, everyday I'm hustling," an angelic voice coos over phased electric guitar plucks and looped, AutoTuned chorals. It makes perfect sense that Bakorta should team up with Metal Preyers' Jesse Hackett on the album's final track, the aptly-titled 'Titis Haunted House'. The two artists share a similar obsession with moonlit, carnivalesque soundscapes, and Hackett's eerie synths provide a suitably eccentric foundation for Bakorta's ghostly wails and fuzzy guitar sounds. This closes an album that's able to flaunt Congolese pop and folk sounds behind a vivid gauze of inventive production and songwriting quirks, introducing one of the country's most innovative talents.