As the third in a series featuring music from São Tomé and Principe, an island state in the central African Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Gabon, Les Disques Bongo Joe is now releasing recordings by the combo África Negra. The band around vocalist Joao Seria has been captivating people with its special mixture of São Tomé rumba, Congolese soukous and Ghanaian highlife for almost 50 years now. One special distinctive feature is the pearly, treble-heavy and undistorted phaser sound of the two guitarists Emidio Vaz and Leonildo Barros. The band, whose line up featured up to twelve musicians, including four brass players, achieved their first successes with performances at the street dances popular with plantation workers from Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique at the time. África Negra released a total of fifteen energetic albums shaped by rhythms from Haiti, Brazil, Cuba and the French Antilles. No wonder, then, that their ecstatic and positive pan-African dance music, complete with catchy melodies and choral singing, enjoyed great popularity outside the archipelago, and África Negra could soon be seen touring the rest of Africa and Europe. »Antologia Vol. 1« delivers an excellent anthology of the band’s music; according to the record company, a second volume with unreleased material is already in the works.
Antologia Volume 1