Bonga

Katendu

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This compilation is from four of Kuenda's albums: Reflexao (1988), Malembe-Malembe (1989), Diaka (1990), and Gerocoes (1992). He is a prolific artist and has recorded many albums throughout his long career. Kuenda's raspy hoarse voice is in great form here, especially on cuts like "Olhos Molhados," "Frutus de Vontade," and "Praca." He sings in Angolan Kimbundu and Portuguese. The semba and rebita rhythms are related to the music of the Congo and also have an affinity to the music of Cape Verde and Brazil. When the steam starts rising these rhythms are some of the hottest on the planet. Some of the tracks have a languid tropical groove while others throb with the heat of semba. Kuenda does all this without the excessive use of electronics. His songwriting is varied, creative, and melodic. The musicianship is first rate. Kuenda is a national treasure in Angola and an astute ambassador who speaks out for a nation beleaguered by civil war and foreign intervention for decades. This album, or Paz Em Angola, is a good introduction to Kuenda's unique music. Once you start, you will be looking for more.

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