Saturday, October 23, 2010
ANALOG AFRICA No.9 - Angola Soundtrack - The Unique Sound Of Luanda (1968-1976)
November 22, 2010
On its ninth release Analog Africa unearths musical gems from Angola, the former Portuguese colony in south central Africa. The compilation 'Angola Soundtrack' includes tracks from 1968 – 1976, arguably the golden era of Angolan music.
Angolan music is truly unique and stands on its own as a sound that can only be found in that part of the world. Rhythms such as Rebita, Kazukuta, Semba and Merengue, all of which are presented on 'Angola Soundtrack', might be unfamiliar to most listeners, but they are superbly melodic, highly danceable, hypnotic, raw, quintessentially beautiful - and totally addictive.
A powerful confluence of traditional rhythms from Luanda’s islands, psychedelic guitar sounds imported from neighbouring Congo, Latin grooves, old school Caribbean merengue and the hard beat of the Angolan carnival bands conspired to create the modern music of Angola. These sounds were immortalized by two excellent recording companies - Fadiang (Fábrica de Discos Angolano) and Valentim de Carvalho.
The nascent Angolan music scene was set on fire by a small group of courageous singers, backed by an array of super tight bands and led by extraordinary guitarists who revolutionized the musical and the political panorama of the 60s and 70s. These great electric bands of Angola were a well-kept secret until the late 90s when France-based music label Buda Musique released a short-lived series of Angolan music compiled by Ariel de Bigault. Inspired and taken aback, these releases proved to be crucially influential to Analog Africa’s founder Samy Ben Redjeb:
“Listening to Angolan music suddenly became part of my daily life and when my label was founded a few years later, the idea of releasing an Angolan compilation was never too far away from my mind.
From the nine Analog Africa releases thus far, 'Angola Soundtrack' has been the most difficult to create. The travel visa was in itself a struggle and logistically and financially Luanda is a nightmare. After two unsuccessful years, I eventually found shelter at a home in Prenda, a musseque (township) outside of the capital. I had come to this former Portuguese colony to meet my favourite Angolan musicians, to convey my love and admiration for what they have created, as well as license some of my favourite tunes for my label while documenting their story.
I had no idea what to expect from the trip - more than once was I told to expect complicated situations, and that if I thought I knew Africa, I should wait until I experience Luanda. I was prepared for the worst. To my surprise I encountered an amazingly positive vibe and, except for heavy traffic jams and high costs, I am entirely grateful of my Angolan experience.
With the support of Zé Keno (Photo above), the legendary guitarist of Jovens Do Prenda, I managed to meet most of the composers of the songs featured here. The numerous anecdotes they provided are presented in the 44-page booklet that comes with this compilation.”
Mamukueno - “Rei do Palhetinho” 3:10 LISTEN HERE
Os Kiezos - “Comboio” 3:35 LISTEN HERE
Jovens Do Prenda - “Ilha Virgem” 3:45 LISTEN HERE
Zé Da Lua - “Ulungu Wami” 2:50 LISTEN HERE
Os Bongos - “Pachanga Maria” 3:20 LISTEN HERE
Dimba Diangola - “Tira Sapato” 2:55 LISTEN HERE
Santos Júnior - “N´Gui Banza Mama” 4:25 LISTEN HERE
N´Goma Jazz - “Mi Cantando Para Ti” 3:35 LISTEN HERE
Ferreira Do Nascimento - “Macongo Me Chiquita” 3:50 LISTEN HERE
David Zé - “Uma Amiga” 2:40 LISTEN HERE
Jovens Do Prenda - “Farra Na Madrugada” 4:45 LISTEN HERE
Os Korimbas - “Sémba Braguez” 4:20 LISTEN HERE
Dimba Diangola - “Fuma” 4:08 LISTEN HERE
Alliace Makiadi - “Passeio por Luanda” 3:50 LISTEN HERE
Os Bongos - “Kazucuta” 3:20 LISTEN HERE
Quim Manuel O Espirito Santo - “Eme Lelu” 5:02 LISTEN HERE
Africa Ritmos - “Pica O Dedo” 4:00 LISTEN HERE
Africa Show - “Massanga Mama” 5:35 LISTEN HERE
WARNING: Listening to these tracks may cause addiction and provoke heavy rotation.