“Independencia” by Teta Lando - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1975Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

What with the stresses and hardships caused by the Angolan War of Independence (1961-1974), it perhaps comes as no surprise that Angola’s first recording studio only opened in 1969. Some fine recordings by Lourdes Van-Dúnem since then suggest we could have been missing out up until then. This album by Teta Lando, a relatively young folk artist in his mid-20s, launched a brand-new label, CDA Records and was perhaps viewed at the time as the dawning of a new era for Angolan music, not to mention the Republic itself. Teta’s music focused on Angolan identity, the struggles faced by the folks as a result of the conflicts, as well as everyday matters important to his people such as love and family. The original album liner notes translate as follows:

1961 marks the year of the start of the struggle against colonial oppression. The people’s desire for freedom spread through the countryside like bushfire. The grief and pain do not mean despair because the goal of independence was clear. This long play record launching CDA captures the chant and dress expression of an artist who is the voice of the people. The need to forget the harshness of the struggle and the joy of announcing victory is signalled. Teta Lando is devoted to the people, no-one better than he could sing Indepencencia.

In Angola, after the Portuguese had stopped the war in 1974, an armed conflict broke out among the nationalist movements. This war formally came to an end in January 1975 when the Portuguese government, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), and the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA) signed the Alvor Agreement. Presumably “FNLA – MPLA”, the album’s excellent opener, is the first step in attempting to build bridges and heal wounds. Music-wise, my favourites here are all of the upbeat dance variety, as served up on the opener. Elsewhere, there are many pieces which are best described as a latin-brand of folk-rock; not understanding the lyrics undoubtedly hampers my enjoyment as I find little appeal in the make-up of the music itself. Generally speaking, there seems to be a tempered joy within this set; present relief and future hopefulness plays against past mourning and future uncertainty. I don’t speak a word of Portuguese mind – it’s all in the chords and the vocal intonations ; - )

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:44] 8.5.png Teta Lando - FNLA - MPLA (Teta Lando) Africana
A2 [04:25] 6.8.png Teta Lando - Irmao Ama O Teu Irmao (Teta Lando) Folk
A3 [03:44] 5.7.png Teta Lando - Cecilia (Teta Lando) Folk
A4 [03:14] 7.7.png Teta Lando - Lulendo Mpaxi (Teta Lando) Africana
A5 [03:35] 5.9.png Teta Lando - Luvuvamo (Teta Lando) Folk
B1 [02:55] 7.4.png Teta Lando - Lembele Iembele (Teta Lando) Africana
B2 [03:41] 6.3.png Teta Lando - Angolano Segue Em Frente (Teta Lando) Africana
B3 [04:08] 5.1.png Teta Lando - Poto Poto Barro (Teta Lando) Folk
B4 [03:01] 4.6.png Teta Lando - Menina De Nove Anos (Teta Lando) Folk
B5 [04:33] 4.3.png Teta Lando - Pele Escura (Teta Lando) Latin

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