Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

27 May 2013

São Tomé & Príncipe




The Republic of São Tomé & Príncipe consists of two small equatorial islands in the Gulf of Guinea about 270 kilometers off the coast of Gabon in West Africa. Like Cape Verde, these two islands were uninhabited when the Portuguese discovered them in 1471. The islands were soon occupied by a mixture of Portuguese adventurers & West African slaves brought to work the plantations.

The language that evolved with the blending of Portuguese & African dialects is Creole, similar to Haiti & New Orleans except that is a Spanish/African blend. There are three distinct dialects of Portuguese/Afro Creole spoken on São Tomé & Príncipe: Angolar; Santomé; & Lunguia, which, together with the official language of Portuguese, are the common tongues.

The music scene on São Tomé & Príncipe is still in its infancy compared to other regions of Africa I have previously covered. There was no native populace, so there was no traditional music of the islands. The Portuguese had their musical tradition, but because of the separation of the cultures of slave-owners & slaves, there was not a lot of cultural sharing. The West Africans brought as slaves were from all over West Africa & so therefore there was a diluting of their traditional music. Since its independence in 1975, São Tomé & Príncipe have been financially strapped, dependent on cocoa exports & tourism. Therefore there is no real music industry.


The popular music of São Tomé had not been broadcast in many other places outside the islands. Local bands rely on cassettes, usually in limited runs, only enough for the small market they will reach. There are several types of dances in the traditional culture of São Tomé. The lundum is prevalent in their singing & dancing. It is similar to the rumba. Also like Cape Verde, because they are situated in the Atlantic, there is a heavy influence of styles from their nearest neighbors to the west, the Caribbean Islands.

First I will post up a compilation of various São Toméan artists: Os Úntués; Conjunto Mindelo; Pêpê Lima; Xinha; & Kalú Mendes. Prior to São Toméan independence from Portugal, the godfathers of São Toméan popular music was the band Leoninos, which was founded in 1959 by Quintero Aguiar. The group was well known as spokesmen for the people of São Tomé & Príncipe. Leoninos was banned by the Portuguese radio station after they released "Ngandu", which criticized the Portuguese colonialists. I was not able to lay my hands on any of their material. Leoninos broke up in 1965, but were followed by Os Úntués, led by Leonel Aguiar. Os Úntués added American, Argentinian, Congolese, & Cuban musical influences. They also introduced the electric guitar & other innovations. Pêpê Lima, Kalu Mendes, & Xinha are all prolific musicians still making music today. Pêpê Lima & Xinha headlined shows at last falls 15th Annual Lusophonia Festival. Kalú Mendes just completed a video Lado a Lado- Hino da Campanha de Educação Cívica (Side by Side - Hymn of the Civic Education Campaign). It was inspired by the style of the song “We Are the World“. Renowned musicians from São Tomé & Príncipe unite singing a theme by Kalú Mendes, titled “All Side by Side for the Future of Our Country”. The music covers all Creole languages from the islands to re-enforce the concept of unity in São Toméan society, regardless of ethnic background.




decryption code in comments

Tracklist –
Os Úntués – Placela
Os Úntués - Come de coco bebe de daua
Conjunto Mindelo – V. Centenário de São Tomé
Pêpê Lima - Qua Fulana
Pêpê Lima - Mary Luizi
Xinha - Tudu cua cu deçu fé
Xinha - Fia n'guion
Xinha – Lamboco
Kalú Mendes - Cacharamba só
Kalú Mendes - Ladron

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Agrupamento Sangazuza was an early 90s Soukous from the islands of São Tomé & Príncipe. They sang their songs in Santomé Creole.

Sangazuza are: Alvaro Lima, Dany Aguiar, & Dedinho – vocals; Humberto Santos – lead guitar; Josè Coelho – rhythm guitar; João Teixeira – keyboards; Marco Teixera – bass; & Mario Domingos – drums, with Fernandinho – tumba & Virgilo- wooden stick.


 
Sangazuza – Soukous 92 cassette, 1992.
decryption code in comments

Side A –

Luneta
Alice
Kenguê cela madela
Dona mu flá
Zumba Cue
Alva subli
Coneta

Side B –
Moçu sá n´gola
Aflicon
Fuba
Migo d`home
Caso sá danado
Lulia chigaza
Amadeu

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In the early 1970s a butcher from the town of São Tomé (the capital city) named Horacio & his friend Emilio Pontes decided to start a music group. Whenever Horacio could get away from his butcher shop, he would meet Emilio in the town of San Guembo located 3 km from downtown São Tome. The two would kill a few hours playing guitars & writing songs. The two friends quickly pulled together the first lineup of musicians who, in 1974, would officially become known as the Conjunto África Negra. The group’s greatest hits were built around the melodic & languid lead guitar playing of Imidio Vaz, the steady rhythm guitar of Leonildo Barros, & the raspy voice of João Seria. 

By the 1980s they had perfected their version of São Tomé Rumba, what their fans call ‘MamaDjumba’ music. África Negra’s MamaDjumba sound was immortalized in a series of 40 or 50 songs, that the group recorded at Radio São Tomé in the early 1980s. The broadcast & recording studios of Radio São Tomé were located at the eastern edge of the capital city of São Tomé in a small house overlooking the ocean. The broadcast & recording booths were too small to accommodate a large group of musicians, so África Negra would set up in the courtyard, facing the incoming waves, & lay down tracks surrounded by their most loyal fans. 


The golden years of África Negra came to an end when the group toured the Cape Verde Islands in 1990. The tour was so successful that it tore apart the Conjunto África Negra. When it came time to return to São Tomé the lead singer João Seria along with the bass player Pacheco decided to stay in Praia. Without their front man, África Negra started to slowly drift out of the limelight.
Today, the group is still together. The only original band member still in the group is the lead guitar player Imidio Vaz.

decryptrion code in comments


1. Bodja Matomadalena-meu-amor_
2. Madalena Meu Amor
3. Ia Bo La Guelo Muala
4. Muala Di Be Cuami Gabon
5. Manu
6. Gina Me Mu Mole Un Mece Punta Txi
7. Viantelo Ve
8. Inem Mina Santo Malo
9. Mece Di Olga


 África Negra 83 –Carambola, Intercontinental Fonográfica IeFe 043, 1983. 
decryption code in comments

Side A –
Carambola
Epô Sá Cata Pabô Manda Mum
Náo Náo Senhor

Side B –
Um Coveta Quá Culenta Tela
Mino Bô Bé Quacueda
Defunto

Enjoy,
NØ 



9 comments:

  1. Nice. Haven't heard of any of these...the research on these remains impressive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kinda Calypso.

      I doubt very many people will know enough São Toméan creole to understand the lyrics.

      This was a request from another follower, Andrew. A slight change in itinerary. Luckily my U-phone connects easily to my travel agent.

      Delete
  2. Saint Thomas Shakes
    fiosLT9WKFhI19hVzybzsDLDHYxP3Vf_UReNver9ZIU
    Sangazuza
    GEHqDwBIRx9_cNXFTReJAQh6q-de4L21GWSzAzoTAGQ
    João Seria
    JD-B02bBbEbf29Pg-2S1FgMpYw4I5mq8pcRTDYemAn0
    África Negra
    S_bU417QqSDt_ceUyHWxEziEX8xKLQig5_71QtJzLr0

    ReplyDelete
  3. The link for the last entry is broken - África Negra 83 – Carambola. Thank you for moving these forward to today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Fixed. No problem.

      Delete
  4. I found this website today. It is mostly Hawaiian music but you may find some things from other Pacific Islands. I saw five Tahitian albums.
    http://tamtammelodie.blogspot.com

    Your last link is broken África Negra 83 – Carambola

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. to moltenvelvet,

      Thanks for letting me know about the link & the website. The link is fixed & I bookmarked the website for further use.

      Delete
  5. este é um dos melhores álbum dessa banda de muitos sucessos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obrigado pelo comentário, mas qual o álbum que você está se referindo a?

      Delete