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Luso Noir hits Top 10 in the WMCE Charts

The Portugese empire ruled its African possessions for 500 years, dissolving in 1975 after a series of bloody revolutions. The Saudade remained, not only as a musical genre but as as an approach to life, a unifying cultural legacy which has not only survived, but thrived. Even the word itself: "Saudade" was selected by a German jury to be one of the ten most beautiful words in the world. The fall of Portugal's once great realm is rendered literarily comprehensible through the transcendental novels of Portuguese author António Lobo Antunes. The post-independence, African perspective is presented musically by the singers on this compilation.


"Whether it's folk of Madredeus, the samba of Chico Buarque or the manifold rhythms and cadences of Lusitanian Africa, the music of the Portuguese-speaking world has its own distinctive mood - a kind of sweet wistful reflectiveness known in Portuguese as saudade. This haunting compilation by Berlin-based Brazilian, Grace Kelly, is unified by this mood - from 'A Va Saty Va Lomo', the mournful opening track by Mingas & the Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mocambique, to the last, Bonga's sweet shuffling coladeira, 'Praca'. The journey between is a delight, if a little biased in favor of Mozambique. There's a hefty contribution from the Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mocambique and its much celebrated, golden-voice singers, Wazimbo and Mingas, many of them gleaned from their classic now deleted 1996 album Marrabenta Piquenique. These are complemented by tracks from fellow Mozambicans Ghorwane and Reziana Jaime, Angola's Bonga and Cape Verde's wonderful and all too often overlooked Simentera (featuring Mario Lúcio and Teté Alhinho). The album would perhaps have benefited from a sprinkling of Guinea-Bissau gumbe music, and a little more from Cape Verde, but it is nonetheless delightful - satisfying yet easy to listen to without ever feeling like aural wallpaper."
-Songlines Magazine #77 Oct 2011-

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