Angola's Musical Legacy Rare, Obscure & Precious Recordings: Angola Soundtrack 2 Hypnosis Distortions and Other Sonic Distortions

By Williams, Stephen | African Business, January 2014 | Go to article overview

Angola's Musical Legacy Rare, Obscure & Precious Recordings: Angola Soundtrack 2 Hypnosis Distortions and Other Sonic Distortions


Williams, Stephen, African Business


Analog Africa

Cat: AACD75

This CD recalls an era of popular Angolan music that has almost been lost in the mists of time. But, thankfully, these 21 tracks have been saved for posterity by the dedication of the Analog Africa, whose founder Samy Ben Redjeb's passion for discovering rare, obscure and precious African music, and then releasing it on his label, is legendary.

Frequently, these recordings--which Ben Redjeb always ensures are fully licensed so that the artists (or their estates) are recompensed--have never before been available outside their country of origin.

Although this is a CD, Analog Africa simultaneously released this compilation as a double vinyl offering last month. That is significant, for in this day and age dance club DJs invariably want vinyl. It underscores just how relevant this music is to a contemporary, youthful audience. Some of these tracks may be over 45-years old, but they are appreciated as they ever have been on the dance-floor.

As Analog Africa explains, an exceptional set of circumstances existed in the history of Angola (before its independence from Portugal on ii November 1975) that created a giant leap in the style, standard of bands and recordings of the time. When, in 1961, the repressive Portuguese administration banned the small Turmas (street musician groups) from being able to perform in carnival celebrations, a Portuguese civil servant, entrepreneur and Angolan music fan named Luis Montes organised Sunday afternoon live music festivals that delighted a Luandan population. His initiative inspired groups to adapt to different style of playing for the larger stages and bigger audiences, and the musician equipped themselves with electric guitars that could be amplified, and fed on the musical influences from Cape Verde, Congo and the Dominican Republic, while staying true to Angola's own musical legacy and unique traditional rhythms.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The CD's liner notes comments: "The intimacy between those participating in this musical revolution meant they playfully and professionally wanted to trump each other's style; communication between the groups was frequent as everyone studied each other's records and concerts. …

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