Saturday, September 25, 2010

Funk Before War: Angolan Popular Music Featured on NPR / Música Popular Angolana em Destaque na rádio americana NPR

Long time Caipirinha Lounge connoisseur Becca Mateus alerted me to this article on NPR's popular website, aptly titled Funk Before War in Angola. It seems that yet another international publication/broadcaster has woken up to the raw aural beauty that is pre-war Angolan popular music, and I'm happy it's one of NPR's stature. Here is an excerpt from the article, written by 'EGON':

"As far back as the 1960s, there was a thriving recording industry in Angola. The largest record company of colonial ruler Portugal, Valentim de Carvalho, set up a pressing plant in Luanda and officially pressed licensed repertoire from labels like CBS and EMI. But some of the labels that existed before Angola's independence (Rebita and Ngola, circa 1972-1976) and its brutal civil war (CDA and Merengue, circa 1975-1977) sound nothing like the David Bowie and Barbara Streisand schlock that was hocked to the Portuguese people the 15 years prior. 

Urban Angolan music from the 1970s was made for a populace in revolt. It is a heady, rhythmic sound that swings with the recognizable semba (which, as you might guess, draws from the same rhythms as the Brazilian samba) as often as it does with the Angolan merengue. It can jump into uncharted frenetic realms that are a unique mixture of local rhythms like rebita and semba, imported rhythms like samba and merengue, and rumba from neighboring Congolese tribes."


Egon goes on to profile several vintage Angolan songs, included below and available for download for your cultural enjoyment. Chosen artists include such luminaries as Artur Nunes and David Zé. The song descriptions are by EGON.

Ki Sua Ngui Fuá
"A pre-revolution lamento that was released on the stalwart Rebita label, Nunes’ “Kisua Ki Ngui Fua” is a haunting dirge, where Nunes speaks to his mother about his death."

Inimigo
"Zé espouses the MPLA’s philosophies in liner notes and sembas of the record. The description of 'Nguma/Inimgo (Enemy)' reads: 'Those who mistreat and kill us are the enemy, and only organized will we be victorious.'

Kolonial
"This historical narrative owes as much to the voice of living Angolan treasure Rui Alberto Vieira Dias Mingas as it does to bassist and songwriter Carlitos Vieira Dias. It purports to be about the letters and correspondence ferried by boats traveling between Luanda and Lisbon, but could also be about human cargo."

Música Popular Angolana em Destaque na rádio americana
NPR 

Leitora do Lounge há longa data, foi a Becca Mateus que me deu a alerta sobre este artigo da NPR (National Public Radio), a melhor e mais culta estação de rádio americana e uma das únicas que ainda toca música de qualidade. Quase todas as outras já estão vendidas ao ClearChannel, empresa de média que controla grande parte da cultura radiofónica americana e que toca sempre o mesmo lixo. O título da peça é Funk Before War in Angola (O Funk Antes da Guerra em Angola), e foi escrita por EGON, cuja esposa é luso-angolana. É mais uma publicação/emissora internacional a sentir a poesia e a força cultural da música popular angola, e é com um enorma satisfação que vejo que a nossa música finalmente está sendo ouvida á volta do mundo e que as notícias acerca de Angola não têm só que ver com guerras, corrupção e outras atrocidades mas sim com o nosso legado cultural e artístico e a nossa identidade como angolanos. Algumas das músicas destacadas no artigo, entre elas canções de 'pais grandes' como o Artur Nunes e o David Zé, estão disponíveis acima para download. Bom proveito.

3 comments:

bengt said...

thank you for putting up the artur nunes track -- i thought i might never get ahold of it.

do you know of anywhere i can find a translation of the lyrics?

Claudio Silva said...

Bengt, I'm happy to know that you enjoy Artur Nunes' musical genius. Unfortunately I do not know any kimbundu but next time I go to Luanda I will ask my mom to give me the general gist of the lyrics of this song.

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