Spring is coming eventually, may as well get warmed up! London duo The Busy Twist’s dancefloor remixes of 1960’s and 70’s folk music from Luanda, culled from the Analog Africa catalog. I don’t know how this spring and summer are going to pan out, but this would definitely be a vibe at a post-pandemic outdoor party somewhere in Brooklyn, no? 😉
Afrobeats track “Owner” is my favorite from Angolan/British singer and lyricist Carla Prata. The 21 year old is making big moves with an easy confidence. Already well-known in Angola, Portugal, and the UK, her recent COLORS performance of provocative new single, “Certified Freak” brings her to a wider audience. She got her start at 15 and just released her first EP, Roots, mid 2020. She talks about getting into music and international ambitions in this brief after COLORS interview.
I’ve been meaning to post about this album for the longest. I was introduced to it around 2007 and it became a fast favorite, introducing me to rhythms, history, artists, and lands of the “Lusophone” world. Cabo Verde, Mozambique, São Tomé e Príncipe, Angola, Guinea Bissau. Maybe it can be called a fusion album — samba and lots of pandeiro but with lilting bass lines, cheerful horn arrangements and guitar riffs that are undoubtedly African. It felt like traveling without moving. It may have been the first time I heard different Portuguese language accents besides Brazilian in song. I was already a fan of beloved living samba legend Martinho da Vila, and this album made me appreciate his oeuvre even more.
I’m tempted to skip ballad “Vasco da Gama” (ft. Mart’nalia) and slow march/marchinha “Viva Timor Leste” (ft. Luis Represas), which recount significant histories pertaining to the Portuguese empire. One covers exploration/conquest, the other revolution, so I guess I appreciate the balance there. Taking the album as a whole I can dig that those songs were included for their slower tempos and rounding out the variety of rhythms. Besides, I’d rather learn history via song than read it, and I always appreciate a larger historical context for the music I enjoy.
Favorite track: “Carambola (São Tomé e Príncipe)”.