Wednesday, August 11, 2010

N'gola Ritmos

I haven't had much luck in finding old Angolan vinyl. Dear friends (Thanks, Kris & Lay!) were looking around a couple of months ago in Quito but said the war destroyed a lot, including old LPs, and rich Angolans are also on the hunt for music. Maybe some will turn up in time.

I have a list of bands I'd love to hear more of, and N'gola Ritmos is high on the list. Even more, now that I saw these videos (from RTP, 1964). In awe of Monami and Lourdes Van Dunem. Amazing!





There's also a book on that list: Marissa Jean Moorman's "Intonations: A Social History of Music and Nation in Luanda, Angola, from 1945 to Recent Times" (2008, Ohio University Press). Moorman is professor of African history at Indiana University. She writes:
N’gola Ritmos formed in 1947 and continued until the 1970s with various combinations of musicians including two female vocalists, Belita Palma and Lourdes Van Dunem. In the early 1960s some founding members were sent off to prison or exiled from Luanda to other provinces on temporary work assignments. The band played in a variety of venues in the capital, from the birthday parties of friends and families to the Liga, the city’s cinemas, and even the governer’s palace, as well as in other provinces. Carlos do Aniceto “Liceu” Vieira Dias was the group’s founder. Angolan musicologists credit Vieira Dias with translating songs of rural derivation into a popular music that was danceable and, in so doing, unleashing the development of urban popular music and in the particular the form known as semba.
Enjoy these, read up, and do let me know if you find N'gola Ritmos LPs (or even crazier, have double copies for sale)!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Franklin Boukaka



Franklin Boukaka was an amazing composer, poet, and activist. I wonder what he might have become if he wasn't executed in 1972, after a failed coup in Congo Brazzaville. His short career (he was 32 when he died) spanned work with Negro Band (which he helped start), then African Jazz/Vox Africa, and Cercul Jazz. More on Boukaka can be found at WorldService. This album from 1970, arranged and directed by Manu Dibango, is a classic.

Franklin also recorded with Keletigui et ses Tambourinis (and toured with them in Guinee). One of those tracks is on the Stern's Keletigui compilation, thanks to the restoration work by Graeme Counsel.

Le Bucheron
Nakoki
Likambo Oyo
Bomoto
Ata Ozali
Pont Sur Le Congo
Luzolo
Mwanga
Dia Bikola
Bibi