Showing posts with label Angola. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Angola. Show all posts

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Africa Roots Vol. 4

I'll be out of town for a week and don't expect to be able to blog, but I wanted to get something in, so this one's a quickie.

I never managed to snag Vols. 1-3 of the legendary Africa Roots series, recorded at the Melkweg in Amsterdam in the early '80s. I did get hold of the fourth and final (?) installment, and what a wonderful recording it is!

Click on the picture below to read about the artists and the songs. The standout here is Mali's legendary Salif Keita along with the equally fabled Kante Manfila and Ousmane Kouyate, who deliver a scorching rendition of the Ambassadeurs classic "Primpin." Senegal's Baaba Maal, Algeria's Cheb Mami, Angola's Bonga and A.B. Crentsil from Ghana don't disappoint either with inspired renditions of some of their greatest songs. It's all good!

Listening to these tracks will take some of you back to the exciting days of the '80s when every day brought a new revelation for us African music fans and World Music™ had yet to be conceived. Enjoy!

Salif Keita & Les Ambassadeurs - Primpin

Baaba Maal & l'Orchestre - Dental

Baaba Maal & l'Orchestre - Yela

Baaba Maal & l'Orchestre - Lomtoro

Cheb Mami - Sanlou Ala Enabi

Bonga - Kua' Sanzala

Bonga - Camin Longe

A.B. Crentsil - Osokoo

A.B. Crentsil - Atia

A.B. Crentsil - Ahurusi

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Greetings from Luanda

I occasionally scan the comments sections of older posts to see if anyone's dropped by that I might have missed. This post occasioned the following comment, which I pass on to you. Toke's numerous blogs are a treasure trove of Angolan music, both contemporary and classic.
Hello Mr. John B., Milwaukee from Wisconsin, USA:
greetings from Angola!

Here's Toke fingers from Luanda, Angola.

I've founded your beautiful place, with that incredible familiar sound name (Likembe), and your two articles about Angolan music.

First I would like to express my pride with the inclusion in your links of kuduro of, my junior site where Kuduro music is ready to be downloaded.

Unfortunately, all my files have recently been deleted or damaged by the server, and I'm restarting my slowly local internet process of uploading to the ftp.

I'm learning in the way, in barely two years of internet blogging, being a junior in this activity.

With all respect I would like to share with your beautiful space some of my non commercial work, devoted purely to the world wide spread of Angolan music from different ages:

#1 Straight from CD-R street Kuduro sellers to your hard drive, the Angolan Ghetto musicians that have no commercial contract but that everybody is listening in the parties, taxis, buses, or in the street - Kuduro rules in Luanda's chaotic automobile traffic.

#2 Traditional folkloric music from Angola, sometimes mixed with urban modern angolan music that recovered traditional instruments.

#3 The first signs of Angolan urban music from the 50's to early 70's. From an accoustic beguine to the electrification of traditional Angolan melodies. The anti-colonial-fascist singers.

#4 On 11 November 1975 the Angolan nation was born under gun shots in the south, in the north, and through the quickly abandon of former colonies by the Portuguese administration and people joining the Portuguese oillets revolution that ended 48 years of fascist dictatorship on 25 of April 1974. Between 24 April 1974 and 11 November Angolan musical production reflected the spirit of the time and was political prolific. That's what we can hear in Trincheira Firme Podcast.

#5 Angolan music from the last 33 years, celebrating Angolan popular musical tastes in all genres.

#6 Mainly Angolan music with some very rare Angolan records. Other countries' music included.

#7 Mainly Portuguese and Angolan anti-fascist music.

#8,,, Afrikya is a Sunday morning weekly radio show broadcast from Luanda's radio LAC (Luanda Antena Comercial) - the first private radio station after independence - conducted by Maria Luísa, who hosts and directs the Afrikya show from 30 years now, the last 16 years as LAC manager-director. Musical and political ways of Africa.

#9 Angolan and non-Angolan music that can be danced at the discos, now days, every nights, by the almost five millions Luanda's inhabitants.

#10, Neblina is the first and only Angolan rock band to feature a commercial independent rock CD at 26 January 2006, called Innocence Falls In Decay.

#11, M'pty Head is the second most prominent Angolan rock band with conceptual internet releases and extraordinary live shows).

#12, Tessalonissenses is the name of the great and only Angolan techno wired band that matters.

I've anothers podocast shows that are not in this subject: Angolan music. But please, try these two ones: and

I would like to make an article presenting your accurate articles over Angolans music to Angolan Portuguese readers. Hope your agreement.

By the way: that's right! You're right. Since 2002 Angolan nation is in stable military peace and Angolans are proud that they achieved this goal by themselves, after long years of foreign interference. So, national pride, both for the nation and for the tribal origin, is the general feeling.

And 110 $110US per gallon is not hurting. No, it isn't. It provides a 25% economic growth per year.

Thank you for your time and excuses for the length of the explanation in these non corrected almost English words.

All the best to you,
hope everything's going right.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More Angola: Puto Prata Megamix

Researching that last post has got me worked up, and I've been listening to Angolan music pretty much non-stop for the last few days. So, if you'll indulge my temporary obsession, I'd like to return to that formerly-war-torn but optimistic young country. Previously I mentioned a new musical style out of Angola called Kuduro. I don't have a lot of personal knowledge of it, but here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry:

Kuduro (or Kuduru) is a type of music born in Angola and immediately exported to Lisbon suburbs in Portugal, hence its two varieties Luandense and Lisboeta. It is characterized as uptempo, energetic, and danceable. . .

The Kuduru movement was created in the suburbs of Malange in Angola in the early 90's and now has become very popular music among young people.

The name itself is a word with a specific meaning to location in the Kimbundu language, which is native to the northern portion of Angola. It has a double meaning in that it also translates to "hard ass" or "stiff bottom" in Portuguese, which is the official language of Angola. Kuduro is also a type of dance where, typically (like Ragga, some forms of hiphop, and other afro-based musics) the female dancer protrudes her bottom and swings it sensuously to the rhythm of the hard-hitting Kuduro beat. It is mostly influenced by Zouk, Soca, and Rara (Haitian music genre) music genres. . .

One thing that's notable about Kuduro is its association with Angolan nationalism. In videos you'll often see Angolan flags flown, etc. This is an interesting contrast with other African countries, where the old nationalist and pan-African ideals have pretty much run their course, to be replaced by regional, ethnic and religious concerns. As to what sets Angola apart in this regard, I suspect that the end of the long-running civil war has given rise to a new sense of national purpose, and I suppose that the increase in the price of petroleum (Angola's main export) hasn't hurt either. But that's really just speculation on my part.

Information about Kuduro is all over the Internet, especially if you know Portuguese, which I unfortunately don't. You certainly won't be able to find this stuff at your local Best Buy, and Sterns has nothing, but a search of Kizomba turned up quite a bit, including some of the more popular artists like Dog Murras, Heider Rei do Kudoro, and numerous compilations (unfortunately short on recording information, much less sound clips). One release that is in fairly wide circulation is Federico Galliano's Kuduro Sound System, which I can recommend based on what I've heard.

There are a couple of CDs out there by my favorite Kuduro artist, Puto Prata, but I've been unable to get hold of them. Through diligent searches of the blogosphere (notably Masala, which has tons of info on all kinds of other great dance music as well,) and various file-sharing services, I have turned up seven tracks, which I present to you in non-stop "megamix" style as follows:

1. Poperom Beat Fat Remix
2. So Tchilar
3. Zuata Zuata
4. Sao Voces
5. Aviao
6. Crianca Futuro Bate (with Fofando, Puto Saborosa & Noite e Dia)
7. Sai la Daqui
Puto Prata Megamix

There is also a wealth of Kuduro videos out there, of which this is a prime example:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Angola '80s Plus

Buda Musique is justly famed for its amazing Ethiopiques series of music, and it has recently launched Zanzibara, a new collection devoted to classic tracks from East Africa. On a recent visit to the Buda website, I was surprised to note that there is no mention of its five-volume Angola series. Does this mean that it is out of print and abandoned? That would certainly be a shame. This groundbreaking effort documented the development of the Angolan music scene through four decades of turbulent history - from the struggle against Portuguese colonialism in the sixties, the civil war that wracked Angola following independence in 1975, and the "false dawn" following the Bicesse accords of 1991, which soon gave way to renewed conflict.

It was only in 2002 that a measure of stability came to Angola, following the death in combat of Jonas Savimbi, whose UNITA faction terrorized the country for decades with the support of the CIA and the South African apartheid regime. The last few years have seen a renaissance of Angolan music and the rise of new styles, notably Kuduro. But that's beyond the scope of this post.

Every volume of the Buda Angola series is dynamite, but one of the more interesting is Angola 80s (Buda 829942), which actually defines the decade as beginning in 1978. This CD documents the rise of a mature post-independence Angolan style, or rather styles, from the folk-tinged melodies of Felipe Mukenga and the Kafala Brothers to the new kizomba style of Os Jovenes do Prenda and "Sanguito," a track by Robertinho that sounds an awful lot like Ghanaian highlife (or maybe it's just that Portuguese melancholy). It also dovetails rather nicely with my own small collection of Angolan LPs. I strongly encourage you to get the entire Angola series, if it is available. If you already have it, think of the tunes in this post as sort of a supplement or second disc to Angola 80s. Here's the music:

Let's start off with a tune that was actually recorded shortly after Angolan Independence in 1975, so technically it's not within the purview of this discussion, but who cares? "Ministro Gatuno" apparently describes the disgrace of a government minister who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar: "Agostinho Neto [1st President of Angola], you should know, Samuel Abrigada stole some money. We saw you, we saw you, we saw you. We saw you when you robbed the money. Abrigada can't deny it, because we've seen for ourselves, and what he stole belongs to Angola." This track was included in a collection of what might be called "propaganda" songs for the ruling MPLA party, Angola: Forward, People's Power! (Paredon P-1041, 1978). Information on the artists was not available.

Artists unknown - Ministro Gatuno

Orchestra Semba Tropical was founded by the Angolan government following independence and was a showcase for many popular artists like Carlos Burity and Bonga. This track, "Ku Tambi ya Veya Kaombo ," was recorded in 1984 and is included on the compilation 2-LP set BANTU (CICIBA 8401-8402):

Orquestra Semba Tropical - Ku Tambi ya Veya Kaombo

N'Simba Simon, aka "Diana," was one of many Angolan musicians who made their way to the Congo during the dark days before the fall of Portuguese colonialism. In 1968 his career began alongside Tabu Ley Rochereau in l'Orchestre African Fiesta National, and from 1969 to 1973 he sang in Les Grands Maquisards led by Ntesa Dalienst. From 1973 to 1976 he rejoined Tabu Ley in Orchestre Afrisa. "Sim Senhora," from 1983's Marguerida (Editions Man-Im MAN 001), was recorded with the Congolese group Bobongo Stars, who are quite interesting in their own right. About a month ago I passed on a rip of their LP Makasi to the With Comb and Razor blog, and you can download it here.

Diana & les Bobongo Stars - Sim Senhora

About Orquestra Caravela I know absolutely nothing, but this is a mighty fine tune. It's from their LP Amour Sans Frontières (Coco-Deal CCD 115):

Orchestra Caravela - Mbongo

The "AKA" in Trio AKA stands for the members Abanga, Kandundanga and Abunda, and about these fine artists I also know nothing. "Sauidi" is from the album Mama Cristina (Anti-Apartheid Enterprises AAER 002, 1989):

Trio AKA - Sauidi

Finally let's hear a comparison of two versions of a traditional song, "Nguitabule." The first is by Rodolfo Kituxi, from the LP O Canto Livre de Angola (RCA Brazil 103.0585, 1983) and the second, from Angola 80s, is by Os Merengues, a very influential group founded in 1974.

Rodolfo Kituxi - N'Gi Tabule

Os Merengues - Nguitabule

You might notice that I am no longer using DivShare for my downloads. So far it's working out great. Let me know how you like it.