on 25 November 2005
Some people know a few things about African music. A few people know a lot. A handful of fanatics and experts know even more. Most of what they know is West African music, or Congolese music, or Southern African music.
Well, I'm not an expert, but I suspect that even those who would consider themselves as such will not have heard much from Angola. How strange is that? It's a massive country. Bonga has had a bit of succes. Who else? Waldemar Bastos? However great that is, that's about as authentically Angolan as, say, the Corrs play authentic Irish folk music...
This double CD showcases a lot of bands active in the run-up to independence, i.e. the early '70s. Before the country spun into anarchy, and there were still some recording facilities. It's a little goldmine. The Angolan "sound" is actually very distinctive, and might be recognised by those inclined towards Lusophone recordings. Frantic percussion, pumping bass, stuttering guitars, nice melodies, ballads; dance music. And it's consistently GREAT STUFF! The liner notes are pretty informative, too. Occasionally, you luck out with what you buy; this is one of those things. There's a lot of mileage to be had out of this.
Admittedly, I have a bit of a thing for obscure recordings. There's not a huge market for that. I was alerted to this release by muzikifan ([...]) who put it in his Top 50 African releases - and that is where it belongs.
[God knows why I'm bothering to write this review - I would be highly surprised if anyone ever read it...]
on 26 April 2011
Wow... I'm Angolan and lived abroad for quite a long time. I often complained about the fact that our musical culture wasn't as known as the Congolese, South African or Brazilian, although it has so much to offer. Angola is said to have invented the basis of Samba and many instruments used in African music in general. This urban sound comes from the period of cultural emancipation in the 50's, highly influenced by Rumba (like in Congo) but Angolans added their own instruments like the "reco reco" which gives to the uptempo tunes their particular angolan flavour. Besides taking me back to my childhood, this compilation is the sonic proof that there are some guys out there who know Angolan music much better than probably most Angolans from my generation do!! Well done!!
on 23 April 2007
Nothing much to add, just wanted to agree publicly with the other review. This is a real find, absolutely brilliant, I bought it for my girlfriend and found it pretty hard to hand over. Pretty good recording quality considering, it's got traces of the pop-jive of South African townships, but with that Lusophone touch, great guitar lines and insanely catchy melodies. The stand out artist is Artur Nunes. Now to try and find an album of his stuff...