V/A - Angola Soundtrack - The Unique Sound Of Luanda 1968-1976 / 2LP
Similar to what was happening elsewhere in Africa, Angolans in the period covered by this set were concerned with gaining independence from their colonizers, asserting their African-ness while showing their with-it-ness by taking traditional sounds and instruments and combining them with electric guitars, as well as rhythms from both Cuba (“Mi Cantando Para Ti” by N’Goma Jazz being an obvious example) and their colonial Lusophone cousins in Brazil. The influence of the latter can be felt in the near-batucada breakdown on Os Bongos’ “Kazucuta,” a floor-shaker that proves there is more to Angola than the morna (most closely comparable to the Portuguese fado in its minor-key anguish). Os Korimbas also go for the pounding percussion workout with their “Semba Braguez,” semba being an antecedent of the Brazilian samba.
Many of these musicians recorded in local languages instead of Portuguese, describing everyday life while not delving too heavily into politics, even though the country was embroiled in a guerilla war that did not let up until independence was won in 1975. No, the key here is to induce dancing, and in that respect this collection is a total success.