Lost links & Re-ups

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

01 June 2013


In Angola in the period roughly 1945–74, Angolan citizens used music to talk back to their colonial oppressors & more importantly, to define what it meant to be Angolan, what they hoped to gain from independence. 

In the years between 1961 & 1975, the Luanda rock music scene sizzled. After independence came years of civil war (up until 2002 perhaps) & many Angolan musicians were murdered or fled the country. This music is from those volatile years.

A bit about some of the artists.

Carlos Lamartine - In the 1960s & 70s, Carlos Lamartine was one of the leading voices in the struggle against the Portuguese. Lamartine plays semba, a typically Angolan genre rooted in traditional carnival rhythms, such as kilapanga, rebita, kazukuta, & kabetula.

Os Bongos features the great guitarist Boto Trindade. He & his samba band were from Lobito, a town in the Benguela province but during the independence struggles they were refugees in Luanda.

Sofia Rosa was a very popular Angolan singer. He grew up in the Samba district of Luanda, where he learned the Kimbundu. He recorded his first single in 1970. He would have a stribg of hits to follow. He was particularly good at interpreting the songs of the common people, singing in Kimbundu. He moved to Lobito in 1973. In November 1975 the Unita forces took the town of Lobito. Sofia Rosa never concealed his sympathies for the MPLA. During the take-over, Sofia was murdered, probably by Unita troops.

Paulino Pinheiro was born on July 20th, 1952 in Bembe, Uige Province. His family moved to Luanda when he was five. Growing up in Luanda he heard the music of greats like Mario Gamma, Tino Catela, Cyrene Bastos, Vum-Vum, & Duo Ouro Negro. In 1960 he formed his first band, Jovens do Catambor, playing lead guitar. When they broke up, he opted for a solo career. In 1973 he put together another band, Impérios Negros. They exploded over disagreements as to musical direction. After that Paulino played with many groups & even solo’d under the moniker Bill Black. The songs here was recorded with the backing of the fantastic Os Kiezos.

Conjunto Musangola was established in 1964 by Honorato Silva, José Maria ‘Kiavulanga’ da Silva, José ‘Kitas’ Alves, João Afonso Kipaca, Santo António Gaita, Mário Sebastião da Silva, &  Kalabeto. In the seventies, they kicked up their sound with the purchase of electric guitars & amplifiers. They created their own style of meringue that incorporated many influences.

Ruy Mingas born May 12, 1939 is an Angolan singer. He belongs to a family of influential Angolan musicians. His uncle Liceu Vieira Dias & brother André Mingas both helped re-interpret the new Angolan sound. Rui Mingas developed his own voice & Afro-funk style.

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Tracklist –

Paulino Pinheiro – Rumba Rúbrica, Rebita 7" R 1105, 1973.
Os Astros – Tira Dedinho, Sêmba 7" L101, 1973.
Paulo 9 – Chezé N'Gamanda, Rebita 7" – R 1.119, 1973.
Paulino Pinheiro – Merengue Rebita, Rebita 7" – R 1105, 1973.
Os Bongos – Lembrança de Mãe, Rebita 7" – R1208, 1974.
Conjunto Musangola –Pé Descalço, N'Gola 7" LD-154, 1974.
Mamukueno – Kalumba N'Ga Kusolo, N'Gola 7" LD 151, 1974.
Armando & Africa Star – Ca Nhôs Faltam Naba, Iefe Disc IEFE 026,1974. 
Carlos Lamartine – Ene, CDA 7" – NCS-2004-CD, 1975.
Sofia Rosa –N'Gue Xile Mu Tunds Buá Faria, N'Gola – NGLP 9003, 1975.
Carlos Lamartine – Ó Dipanda Wondo Tula Kiá, CDA 7" NCS 2004-CD, 1975.
Group África Show –Lamento, N'Gola 7" NGA-199, 1975.
Dimba Dya N'Gola – Catolotolo, N'Gola – NGSLP 9005, 1976.
Ruy Mingas – Kolonial, Zip Zip 22003, 1979.          
Dimba Dya Ngola – Luanda Cidade Linda, Iefe Disc IEFE 059, 1984.
Maringa de Angola – Kua Monandengue, IEFE Disc IEFE 056, 1984.


Alberto Teta Lando was born in1948 in M'banza Kongo, the capital city of Zaire Province in the north of Angola. His music focused on Angolan identity, the country's civil war, the saudades (nostalgia, melancholy, & longing) of Angolan exiles, as well as young love & family. He sings in both the Portuguese & the Kikongo languages.

Among his most well known songs were "Irmao ama teu irmao" ("Brother, Love Your Brother") & "Eu vou voltar" ("I Will Return"). He died in Paris, France, on 14 July 2008, after battling cancer. During the last several years of his life, he managed to re-unite a group of many Angolan musicians.

Independencia was issued shortly after Angolan independence. This is the first Angola Decca recording.

From the liner note: "1961 marks the year of the start of the struggle against colonial oppression. The people's desire for freedom spread through the countryside like bushfire. The grief and pain do not mean despair because the goal of independence was clear. This long play record launching CDA captures the chant and dress expression of an artist who is the voice of the people. The need to forget the harshness of the struggle and the joy of announcing victory is signaled. Teta Lando is devoted to the people, no-one better than he could sing Indepencencia."

Teta Lando – Independencia, Companha De Decca De Angola NALP6000, 1975.
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Lado 1 -
Irmâo Ama Teu Irmâo
Lulendo Mpáxi

Lado 2 -
Iémbele Iémbele
Angolano Segue Em Frente
Poto Poto Barro
Menina De Nove Ànos
Pele Escura


Flash forward!

I just found out that, according to reliable sources, rock in Angola is on the ascendancy.

There has been rock in Angola as long as Angola has been around. It has even been featured on the radio program called Volume 10 on Rádio FM/Rádio Escola for the past 17 years. It's only recently that it is truly gaining a foothold.

Arguably the very first Angolan modern rock album wasn't even released until 2006. That chunk of rock is Neblina's Innocence Falls in Decay. To this day the genre continues to attract controversy & stigma. It is perceived by many Africans as an inherently American music form that like the colonialist of the past, has come to subvert & enslave native Africans. Why this is not also the case with funk, soul, blues, & jazz begs the question. Rock is simply a variation on the blues & is universal as music is.

Of all the genres Angola has imported from beyond its borders, rock is the one that gets the most grief. Or at least is used to. As of late, rock has been gaining ground. In Luanda: more establishments are booking rock bands; & more & more people are attending. Elinga Theater, perhaps Luanda's most unique cultural venue, now hosts regular rock nights (Elinga Rock Sessions). King's Club inVila Alice, a popular hang-out with the rock crowd, not only continues to host frequent rock shows but has a growing audience & popularity as well.

There is a blog RockLuanda which keeps up-to-date information as to all things rock in the city but also in Benguela & Huambo, two other places where Angolan rock is gaining popularity. There is even a documentary called Death Metal Angola about the people behind the first ever national rock/metal concert in Angola.

Neblina might not win any awards for originality, but I like their sound, their style, & their philosophy. & they were the first in Angola, & that can never be taken from them.

On Innocence Falls in Decay, Neblina are: Mauro Neb - lead vocals & guitar; Michel Fio – guitar; Bocôlo – bass & vocals; & Thiago – drums.

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Tracklist –

Mysterious Sky
Holy Angels
My Heroin
Set You Free
Stairway to Heaven
Mystery in the Dark
Filhos da Pátria


It is precisely in this favorable environment that a new Angolan rock band, Café Negro, emerged. The band Café Negro is the maturation of a project called Question Mark which formed in 2008. They play a mixture of styles: kilapanga; funk; electronic; soul; blues; & rock. This gives the band a variable personality, appealing to many tastes.

In Angola, the band has had the opportunity to play in clubs such as ZODABAR, Miami Beach, Elinga Theatre, King's Club, & Space Bahía, which exposed their music to many people, gaining them much support & many fans.

A Safra is their first release, coming out in 2011. Hopefully people outside Angola will catch the buzz from the all-Angolan ‘Black Coffee’.

Café Negro are: Irina Vasconcelos – vocals; Cláudio Hou”Ary” – lead guitar; Edy British – rhythm guitar; Mayó Bass - bass; & Jô Batera – drums.

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Tracklist –

Run Away
Loud 4 You
Kilapanga do Orfao
Fly with Me
In the End

bonus tracks –
Run Away (acústica)
Loud 4 You (acústica)





  1. AngolaFreedom
    A Safra