Angolan 45s and more

Tag: Angola

Angola Instrumentals (a roundup)


Os Kiezos ‘Princesa Rita’ (Rebita, 1975)

“Princesa Rita”, a huge hit and a highlight on the Kiezos’ catalogue. Check here and here for further posts on the band and extra info!

Tino diá Kimuezo feat. Conjunto Merengue “Tino Mugu ió Dimba Diobe” (Merengue, 1975)

By popular demand, here’s another Tino diá Kimuezo track. I understood- from a couple of comments and emails- that most listeners had never heard of him. Also, that the “Soul of Angola” compilation was becoming increasingly harder to find – not to mention that this very track is spelled differently there, as “Tino mungo yo dimba diobe“. Finally, that some of you found his mainly acoustic arrangements both refreshing and surprising. So, here you go. [Details as per my previous post].

[This post is dedicated to Global Groove]

Tino diá Kimuezo feat. Conjunto Merengue “N’ga Naminina” (Merengue, 1974)

Still active, the 72-year old Tino diá Kimuezo (born Faustino Manuel) is a veteran of the Angola music scene. Although he is mostly remembered for his love songs, he was actually targeted and eventually arrested by the Portuguese political police due to his patriotic leanings. One of the founders of Angolanos do Ritmo – in 1956, still a teenager – Tino was also associated with Bessangana, Turma Nguba and Sobongos, and was part of the carnival scene. In the mid-60s he was one of the many singers cast in the kutonocas (the Sunday afternoon live music festivals).

“N’ga Naminina” was a huge hit in the early 70s, here recorded with Carlos Vieira Dias’ Conjunto Merengue. A year later, in 1975, the Merengue label would also release “Tino Mugu Io Dimba Diobe/Kibela Kiami” (ref# MPA-4024), a single with a couple of tracks you can find on the “Soul of Angola” compilation. In 1975, Kimuezo – no relation with Elias diá Kimuezo – became one of the singers of the popular Kissanguela band – associated with the JMPLA, the youth organization of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola party.

Conjunto Ana N’gola “Puxa Odette” (N’gola, 1974)

I know of at least another couple of Ana N’gola – or Anangola – singles: “Catanga/Lamento do Monteiro” and “Deixa Ondas/Anangola”. But I was never able to gather much information on the band. I know it had ties with Pedro Franco – of Mini Bossa 70 fame – and that one of its members was Dulce Trindade. So maybe – seeing as Trindade plays in Angola 70 – Samy Ben Redjeb can shed some light on the subject? Vando and Fefé do Marçal (Alfredo Faustino) were others involved.

António Filipe’s “Puxa Odette” was issued by N’gola circa 1974, with ref# LD-157. Its b-side was Pedro Franco’s “Kidingo”.
Ana N’gola means sons of Angola in kimbundu.

Se possui informações sobre o Conjunto Ana N’gola por favor comente!

Santocas “O Massacre de Kifangondo” (MPLA/DIP, 1976)

As scheduled, 38 years ago, on November 11, 1975, MPLA’s (the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola) Agostinho Neto, from Luanda, officially proclaimed Angola’s independence. He was not alone. Holden Roberto, the FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola) leader, was declaring it from Ambriz, while UNITA’s (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) Jonas Savimbi was professing as much from Nova Lisboa (now, Huambo). A sign of things to come. So it would be naive to dedicate a post to the occasion.  Instead, here’s a song by the unapologetic Santocas (easily recognizable, although the single, released by MPLA’s DIP – Department of Information and Propaganda with ref# S002, was issued without any credits – btw, more on Santocas in future posts) that epitomizes not only Angola’s but also the world’s conflicts. “O Massacre de Kifangondo” refers to a complex and decisive battle that took place just a day before these events, on November 10, 1975, involving FNLA’s forces aided by the Zairean and South-African armies, and the victorious MPLA troops (the FAPLA) backed by Cuban soldiers and Soviet Union officials. Further south, UNITA had the military support of the USA. Yes, all pieces were in place.

Santocas sings that the Kifangondo massacre – allegedly perpetrated by FNLA – will not be forgotten: “These barbarians still rape and torture children/ They’re lackeys paid with American dollars/ These Judas will have to be judged / By the people”. So, Angolans were independent. They were also finding out that the liberator could become the oppressor.

Orquestra A Voz d’África “Não ao Tribalismo” (Merengue, 1977)

A low ref#, MPA-4002 to be precise, leads people to believe that this was one of Merengue’s first singles, presumably released in 1974-75. But you only have to listen to what the band is singing about to realize it just couldn’t be. The a-side is a dedication to a FAPLA (the People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola) leader – José Mendes de Carvalho, known as Hoji Ya Henda – dead in combat against the Portuguese army, so no way the Portuguese censors would allow that one to pass. And the b-side, “Não ao Tribalismo”, is all about praising other commanding officers (Valódia, Gika, etc) and, of course, president Agostinho Neto, while criticizing tribalism, capitalism, imperialism, federalism, etc, and calling for unity. One of its ironies: it is sung in Portuguese – not only as means of entitlement but also as a way to exhort national identity.

Fans of classic Congolese music of the 60s and 70s will indubitably recognize where A Voz d’África and its leader, Othis Mbembay, were coming from. Like many of the Cabinda bands (Super Coba, Cabinda Ritmo, Bela Negra, etc) and singers (Matadidi Mário, Pépé Pepito, Nonó Manuela, etc), they were actually Angolan expats, refugees and immigrants in DR Congo. Mbembay was also a member of the famous Inter-Palanca band, led by Matadidi and also including Diana Simão Nsimba (a former member of Sam Mangwana’s Festival des Maquisards and Tabu Ley’s African Fiesta National). Mbembay and Simão would also form Os Malucos and Olímpia in the mid-seventies. So this is part of a very interesting narrative: the way in which the Congolese sound influenced Angola’s post-independence music. There’s a compilation here, for sure.

Short-lived, like many bands in the day, A Voz d’África included a typical Congolese line-up: a lead singer and three backing vocalists harmonizing (Diwidi-Andre, Adolfo-Bunga, ‘Drolly’ Pedro and Domingos Bento), bass (Theodór), percussion (Paulo ‘Prince’ and Manuelito Boal) and dueling guitars (Nsukami N’Dombasi on rhythm and Mbembay soloing).

Listen up!

[This post is dedicated to the Likembe blog]

Note: I took these band credits from another A Voz d’África single, “Kumba” (MPA-4053), but the sleeve was so worn that I’m not really sure of the spelling; and there’s always the possibility of line-up changes.

Note II: Angola’s music scene was packed with talent. Merengue hardly repeated artists and in 4 years released tracks by Teta Lando, Super Coba, Os Astros, Conjunto Merengue, Lewis, Bela Negra, Tino Diá Kimuezo, Ngoma Jazz, João Anesse, Avôzinho, Jucas, Jorge Manuel, Os Anjos, Nelas, Rui Morais, Carlos Lamartine, Prado Paim, Mário Matadidi, Luis Visconde, João Pequeno, Cardoso Soares, Paulo Jorge, Buarque, Pedro Romeu, Jucas, Nito Nunes, Maró Riba, Marques Nascimento, Joy Artur, Jacinto Lima, Juju Tony, Jaburu, Minguito, Filipito, Tito, José Agostinho, Paulo Neto, Nonó Manuela, Quim Manuel, Pépé Pepito, Carlos Burity, Maiuka and Tico Costa.