This week, I've had to ride my bike to work a lot as my car's in the shop. With the kind of up-and-down rainy weather, I've managed to get soaked a couple of times and felt all kinds of moodiness of a summer that's neither there nor here exactly. A vibe that has often put me in the mood for some vintage Angolan surf-psych, also known as Semba. I don't know what it is about the music that has me so mesmerized; maybe it's the upbeat-yet-sad quality of the music. Somehow the peculiar sense of Portuguese saudade infuses this most African of musics, that is also the root of samba, Kizomba (Angolan Zouk), Brazilian guitar and Kuduro.
A genre that is so ubiquitous in Angola that you hear it at not only funerals, but also at parties. The subject of the song in Semba is often mundane, cautionary tales about life spun in a web of poetic wit. Pity I don't speak Portuguese, but I'll always roll a rainy day around joints like the ones I played today. All week, vintage and modern Semba sounds on Sound Travels. All if these artists are good starting points for your own exploration, here's what I played…
Os Kiezos "Memorias Da Lamartine" Soul Of Angola: Anthologie du Musique Angolaise 1965-1975
Santos Junior "N'Gui Banza Mama" Soul Of Angola: Anthologie du Musique Angolaise 1965-1975
Os Bongos "Lena" Soul Of Angola: Anthologie du Musique Angolaise 1965-1975
Artur Nunes "Tia" Comfusões 1 – From Angola to Brazil