Monday, November 8, 2010

Angola Soundtrack: The Unique Sound Of Luanda (1968-1976)

Samy Ben Redjeb, founder of the famed German label Analog Africa, is yet another man who couldn't resist the undeniable allure of vintage Angolan popular music. Part of a larger, and growing, trend that has seen popular Angolan music featured in such widely known media outlets as NPR, Portuguese film festival IndieLisboa, and of course Maianga's 2009 realease Comfusões 1, Redjeb's release is one of the most complete and original compilations of the golden era of Angolan music that money can buy, up there with such well known classics as Soul of Angola and Angola - The Greatest Songs from the 60s and 70s. Analog's Angola Soundtrack has many songs that you won't find in either of those compilations, including rare works by Jovens do Prenda, David Zé and Africa Show, among several others. Samy actually went to Luanda to find and talk to many of the artists featured on his compilation; read on about his adventure in the press release below.

O Samy Ben Redjeb, fundador da famosa label alemã de música africana, Analog Africa, é mais um amante de música que se rendeu as qualidades inegáveis da música popular angolana. Faz parte de uma tendência um tanto quanto mundial por parte de renomadas instituições e publicações internacionais de valorizarem a música popular angolana do período ante-independência. Só estes últimos meses tivemos música popular angolana a tocar na NPR (rádio nacional dos Estados Unidos), ou a ser destacada no festival IndieLisboa, ou ainda a ser 'remixada' em albums como o Comfusões 1, da Maianga Produções. Mas, a compilação do Samy Redjeb é uma das mais originais e completas que existem no mercado mundial, e mesmo não sendo tão completa e exaustiva como Angola - The Greatest Songs from the 60s and 70s, seguramente que está no mesmo patamar que Soul of Angola. A compilação da Analog Africa contém muitas músicas que não fazem parte das compilações citadas acima, incluindo trabalhos raros de gente como David Zé, Jovens do Prenda, e Africa Show. Pudera...o próprio Samy foi até Luanda para conversar com os artistas por trás destas músicas ou pelo menos para as encontrar em estado bruto. Leia abaixo a sua press release:

"For 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 1965 – 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 and highly danceable, a powerful confluence of traditional rhythms from Luanda’s islands, psychedelic guitar sounds imported from neighboring 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 favorite Angolan musicians, to convey my love and admiration for what they have created, as well as license some of my favorite 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, 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.'"


1. Mamukueno – “Rei do Palhetinho” 3:10
2. Os Kiezos – “Comboio” 3:35
3. Jovens Do Prenda – “Ilha Virgem” 3:45
4. Zé Da Lua – “Ulungu Wami” 2:50
5. Os Bongos – “Pachanga Maria” 3:20
6. Dimba Diangola – “Tira Sapato” 2:55
7. Santos Júnior – “N´Gui Banza Mama” 4:25
8. N´Goma Jazz – “Mi Cantando Para Ti” 3:35
9. Ferreira Do Nascimento – “Macongo Me Chiquita” 3:50
10. David Zé – “Uma Amiga” 2:40
11. Jovens Do Prenda – “Farra Na Madrugada” 4:45
12. Os Korimbas – “Sémba Braguez” 4:20
13. Dimba Diangola – “Fuma” 4:08
14. Alliace Makiadi – “Passeio por Luanda” 3:50
15. Os Bongos – “Kazucuta” 3:20
16. Quim Manuel O Espirito Santo – “Eme Lelu” 5:02
17. Africa Ritmos – “Pica O Dedo” 4:00
18. Africa Show – “Massanga Mama” 5:35
Buy the album / Compre o album:

1 comment:

Pedro said...

I Am looking ofr a cut called cafe played in Angola in the mid to late seventies mad guitar playing, cant remember the name of the artist

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