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A Musical Tour of the World: All Countries A-Z One Per Day

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by HitAndRun, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Today's country is Angola.

    The song I chose is Vanda Kupala by Gari Sinedima. I've always liked simply arranged acoustic music by musicians from some sub-Saharan African countries. I wasn't familiar with any artists from Angola before, and found this song.



    When I listened to the song again this morning, Youtube auto-played the following song. Palamé, which is an a cappella performance by four Angolan singers: Aline Frazão, Gari Sinedima, Irina Vasconcelos e Toty Sa'Med

    Palamé - Aline Frazão, Gari Sinedima, Irina Vasconcelos e Toty Sa'Med

    I've discovered a number of artists that I like from Spotify and Youtube auto-playing artists I like. And, this is another case of that.
     
  2. Rick Robson

    Rick Robson -------------------------

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    From what I looked up on "musicinafrica.net", it was during the last years of Angola's late colonial period (roughly 1945-74) that the Angolan recording industry experienced its heyday, with National Radio of Angola ("Rádio Nacional de Angola", or RNA) being one of the biggest promoters of traditional music. Among the key names from the 1960-70s era, I found "Bonga" an really interesting music. From what I gathered, at around the minute 10,5 begin some really beautiful melodic lines played by an acoustic guitar duo with a unique percussion line underlying it all:

     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
  3. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Bonga Kuenda was definitely still very popular in Angola when I lived there for a couple of years in the mid-90, but I recall the soukous and rhumba from neighbouring Congo to be immensely popular as well, particularly in clubs. Bell Do Samba was popular as well. This song is from his 1997 album Katuta:
     
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  4. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks @Rick Robson and @Jamsterdammer

    @Jamsterdammer - wow! You lived in Angola. Unfortunately for me, I haven't been to Africa yet. I had plans to travel to Kenya, but they fell through.

    I've sampled Rick's entry and will listen to more. I enjoyed what I heard and also enjoyed the Bello de Santa track.
     
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  5. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Today's country is Antigua and Barbuda.

    It's interesting to come up with acts that are a bit left field or obscure. But, today, this is a fairly straightforward choice. Burning Flames are a Soca band from Antigua and Barbuda, who have won the 'Road March' title from the Antigua carnival more times than any other band. Past Road March Winners The winner is the 'most played song on the road throughout carnival.'

    This song is 'Swinging Engine', from their era before the departure of original lead vocalist Clarence "Oungku" Edwards. However, the band (with several other Edwards brothers) has continued and most recently (according to Wikipedia which might be inaccurate as it lists some members as both past and current members) released an album in 2014.



    EDIT: My search-fu may have failed me, but it's interesting to me that it appears that Burning Flames has not been mentioned in this forum before. I wonder if some of the other artists in this thread haven't been mentioned here before. EDIT: A number of the artists referenced here don't turn up in search. But, this previous thread looks relevant for African artists. The AFRICAN MUSIC Guide
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
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  6. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    I'm not familiar with any of the music from Antigua and Barbuda, but I assume it is a mix of calypso, soca and reggae, as in most of the rest of the English speaking Caribbean (I spent some time in Trinidad in 2010). Real party music and the lyrics are often very funny and not very subtle in terms of referencing sex. Apparently Burning Flames is one of the oldest soca bands of Antigua:
     
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  7. Rick Robson

    Rick Robson -------------------------

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    Yeah that thread just begins with 2 other discs of "Bonga" which look like a pretty complete compilation. I think worth of note that the last song ("Kinga Kueta") is absolutely identical to Brasilian music for Capoeira* on which "Berimbau" is the core musical instrument. I also found some quite familiar vibe throughout that Bonga music featured by those two discs, to my ears at least there's quite a bit of an interesting resemblance with Brasilian Bossa and Samba musical rhythms. And "Sodade" shows incredibly resemblance with even more of their musical aspects, among some other tracks as well.

    * Capoeira: a ritual dance created by the slaves to elude their Portuguese owners who brought them to Brasil, first and foremost from Angola.
     
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  8. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Certain types of Brazilian music are very close to African music for obvious reasons and there has been a lot of cross-fertilization since the beginning of the 20th century. Also, Cuban music has had a lot of influence in Angola, not least because of the substantial presence of Cubans in the country during its decades long civil war when Cuba supported MPLA. By the way, capoeira may have started as a ritual dance, but is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. It is also very popular in Angola and is beautiful to watch:
     
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  9. Rick Robson

    Rick Robson -------------------------

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    Exactly, in fact it was created as a means of breaking free from the confinement and slavish control they were submitted by the Portugueses.

    I enjoy a lot to watch Capoeira, but also like to listen to its related music. This is a long-time favourite, by my favourite Samba composer Paulinho da Viola along with the well-known Toquinho (both musicians from my hometown Rio de Janeiro):
    Paulinho da Viola e Toquinho - Berimbau

     
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  10. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Such a great song, musically as well as lyrically:
    "Capoeira me mandou dizer que já chegou
    Chegou para lutar"

    Looking forward to see what you are going to post once the OP announces Brazil. I have some favorites as well.
     
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  11. Rick Robson

    Rick Robson -------------------------

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    If you like that song I suggest you Astrud Gilberto's version, well it speaks pretty more to my personal taste anyway. It opens Astrud's '65 album "Look To The Rainbow" and is arranged by Gil Evans, the result is a top-notch orchestration giving its atmosphere a more intense and unique feel to it which goes some bit away from the Bossa Nova flair of the original Vinicius' "Berimbau".

    There is an interesting thread on this music forum about Brasilian music started by @felixa in 2017, I've already posted some of my faves there. I think it may be interesting to check out too:

    The many musics from Brazil
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
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  12. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident Thread Starter

    We seem to have headed for the B's already :D

    It's interesting to see that there is influence between various countries in the world. From my point of view as a westerner, I'm a bit concerned that western influence will wipe out distinctive music and cultures around the world. If I follow some of my preparations I'll note that some bands working in non-English speaking countries are producing music which is English sung western pop which sounds like western pop from everywhere. I think that the cultural (e.g. the Capoeira music above) variations in music around the world are an important factor keeping music rich and diverse, and too many countries aping western music is a danger to that. The Afghan band Kabul Dreams in my second post has released some music sung in English, and to me it sounds a step down from the music sung in - I would guess - Dari or Pashto.
     
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  13. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident Thread Starter

    And, today's country is Argentina.

    Despite what I write in the previous post, I'm going to quote some music that is fairly similar to western folk rock and new wave. Two songs by the composer Charly Garcia. I wasn't familiar with Argentinian music, and had to search. In some countries in the world there are artists who have had long and varied careers, and have clear talent and have touched on all sorts of different music. But, they are less known in the west. For Japan, a country I'm more familiar with, Haruomi Hosono is an example.

    For Argentina, I discovered Charly Garcia. The two songs here are first a new wavy style song he released as a solo artist in the 1980s. This is from the album 'Clics Modernos' or 'Modern Clicks' which was released in 1983. And, it's very much of that era.



    He first came to fame in the 1970s with a band called Sui Generis initially based around a piano/flute combination. Though, this track is very acoustic guitar based folk style as many of their other songs are. This is from their first album. The band changed their style in 1974 to move away from the piano/flute sound but it seems that many of their songs are based around acoustic guitar playing. The band split in 1975, and the farewell concert was huge. Garcia was mixing with the crowd before the concert, and intimidated by its size smoked a number of joints to calm himself down.

    Sui Generis - Quizás porqué

    After that he joined a band Seru Giran, called an 'Argentine supergroup'. The tracks don't vary as much from Sui Generis as much as I would expect, but this track called Peperina from their second to last album has more of a rock feel.

    Peperina - Seru Giran

    Garcia continues to work mainly solo, though he is described on Wikipedia as 'dropping into the background'.

    'Clics Modernos' was voted one of the top 100 Argentinian albums of all time. In fact, Garcia appeared in that list eight time. Three solo albums, two with Sui Generis, two with the band Serú Girán, and one album with the band La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros.

    Charly Garcia is known for his bicolour moustache , one side dark and one side white, due to vitiligo. It's perhaps interesting that while Roger Waters was criticising Galtieri from the UK side in the lyrics of The Final Cut album, Garcia was similarly criticising him from the Argentinian perspective.

    Garcia has accused Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars of plagiarism, claiming that the song Uptown Funk plagiarises the main riff and chords from his 1989 song Fanky. However, I think that the chords and riff are very generic and personally don't feel that it's plagiarism.

    After some medical issues perhaps related to consumption of drugs, Garcia released his most recent solo album, Random, in 2017. It's available on Spotify.

    I don't expect anyone to listen to all the songs here, but I note this very catchy (in my opinion) rock song from Random, Ella Es Tan Kubrick. Which Google Translate tells me means 'She is so Kubrick'.

    Charly García - Ella Es Tan Kubrick (Audio)

    Given Garcia's long career, in some ways I think it fits to have something from the beginning of his career, and someone from the most recent album.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
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  14. Haristar

    Haristar Apollo C. Vermouth

    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Could you include England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland separately? I feel like there's lots of underrated artists from the three latter countries that could get missed out if it's all counted as the UK.
     
  15. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Done! I'm planning to post the new country list once we've finished the As. There are 205 countries and regions so far.

    I'm not sure I could do this for all countries. E.g. we have Hawai'i for the US already. But, if we split up the US into its states, then there would be 50 states, which I think would be too much. Individual states with distinctive music, such as Hawai'i, can be done, however.

    BTW: @Jamsterdammer - your geographical history is fascinating. I'm looking forward to hearing where else you have spent time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
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  16. Rick Robson

    Rick Robson -------------------------

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    True that, but still the folk music remains alive and well in most countries I dare say, of course the cross-fertilisation along time changes it but I would call that as kind of a "progression" through time.

    Anyway, for personal preferences here I'll focus more on the folk side of the countries than on their more globalised music.
     
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  17. Rick Robson

    Rick Robson -------------------------

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    I think that whenever one thinks of Argentina immediately springs to mind Tango. But, perhaps for being geographically a big country, I found that it features as many folk music variety as Brasil for example, I think there is even to choose according to different tastes too. My personal favourite for example is "Chacarera", among other varied music that I also happened to know like "Chamamé" and "Zamba".

    And yes, not only Charlie Garcia but others who ventured successfully into Argentinian pop/pop rock remained as some of the most popular today. However, there are those quite as big as him that didn't limit their career to only that music form. León Gieco is but one example that also had as much a rich and varied incursion into some of the Argentinian folk music forms.

    Here are some of my favourite tracks of "Chacarera" - I love its peculiar rhythmic strength besides the always heartfelt melodic approach. IMO, its unique native feel is enriched with some traditional European music nuances:

    Cuti & Roberto Carabajal - Sembremos La Chacarera
     
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  18. Rick Robson

    Rick Robson -------------------------

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    León Gieco - Chacarera Del Violín
     
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  19. Rick Robson

    Rick Robson -------------------------

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    But I couldn't forgive myself if I don't post here something of one of my all-time favourite female singers & songwriters ever: Mercedes Sosa. She's unfortunately passed away but will forever be recalled as one of the most important voices of the Argentinian music.

    This track literally gives me goosebumps! It feels to me like the wind sounds strengthening my soul...

    Mercedes Sosa - Vientos del Alma (Winds Of Soul)

    .
     
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  20. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    I agree up to a point. In my own country, The Netherlands, most rock bands that emerged in the sixties and seventies sang in English (and some of them managed to become popular in the UK and US). To us, hearing rock music in on our own language sounded kind of provincial. But at the very end of the eighties, more and more bands starting singing in Dutch and somehow it sounded right (perhaps New Wave and Post-Punk with their quirky rhythms lend itself better to that). Now you see a mix of bands singing in Dutch and others in English. All this to say that I am not too worried about bands from non-English speaking countries singing in English, as long as it is not driving out the native language from music. At the same time, I am all for modernizing the sound of traditional music styles. Where would African music be nowadays without the enthusiastic adoption of electric guitars and synths, for example?
     
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  21. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Ooooh! Yes, I love Mercedes Sosa. Such a powerful voice and incredible songs. Love Chacarera and of course Tango as well. Tango is undoubtedly Argentina's biggest contribution global music and dance culture. You can find milonga clubs all over the world and the music, including of course the bandoneon, has spread its influence far and wide. Who wouldn't recognize Astor Piazzolla in a second.

    But I want to post something I have in my collection and which is possibly Argentina's biggest contribution to Latin Rock, the band Soda Stereo, active since 1982.
    Soda Stereo - De Música Ligera
     
  22. Wright

    Wright Forum Resident

    Los Gatos were like the Argentine Beatles, no?



    Two of them even have distinct John and Ringo looks.
     
  23. Rick Robson

    Rick Robson -------------------------

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    He's my long time favourite Tango composer, particularly love his chamber music form.

    And as you mentioned Tango, oooh how I love its old recordings!.... well I admit getting back to my "confort zone" on this such a gorgeous kind of music I'm posting below, but man this musician does stand out for such a damn beautiful and melodic piano playing... and wow!.. what a great orchestration too. His complete name is Osmar Héctor Maderna, he was called the "Chopin of Tango" (El Chopin del Tango), an indeed amazing Argentine pianist, composer and conductor who disgracefully died from an airplane accident just when was only 33 years old. Perhaps because of that terrible fate his name unfortunately fell into obscurity, the great American singer Jim Croce comes to mind by the way....

    Osmar Maderna & Orchesta - Concierto En La Luna


    "Lluvia de estrellas"- Osmar Maderna

    These two tracks are examples of "Milonga", that Tango variation you mentioned.

    Yeah great band, probably my favourite Argentine pop rock band, and given its such a prolific discography too I just couldn't wait to checking out Gustavo Cerati's solo career, he was the founding member and main songwriter for the band. As you also like Soda Stereo I think you are going to like one of my favourite tracks by him (if you don't know it yet of course):

    Gustavo Cerati - Puente (Official Video)
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
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  24. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Definitely sounds like the Beatles LOL
     
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  25. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Beautiful Milonga by Osmar Maderna. I am not familiar with him and his orchestra so I am going to check it out.
    And thanks for pointing me to Cerati's solo work!
    This thread reminds me that there is so much beautiful music in the world, exploring it all is well nigh impossible. But at least one may try...
     
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