Boomkat Product Review:
Heat-seeking, puxa-style blends of semba, merengue, kompas, soukouss, coladeira from the two Portuguese-speaking islands of Sao Tomé & Príncipe in the Gulf of Guinea
Stemming from the lively ‘Léve Léve: Sao Tomé & Príncipe Sounds 70s-80s Vol.1’ of 2019, which was crucial listening for anyone checking the roots of current Lisbon Kuduro, made by the islands’ international diaspora, this set doubles down with a dozen more super infectious and needlepoint-intricate groovers.
Similar to, yet distinct from West African styles, Africa Negra’s tunes hustle hard but playful in a sweetspot between styles, as is so often found with respectvie island musics across the world. From the chiming top line guitar melodies and percolated dreams of ‘Carambola’ to the more languid charms of ‘Gina Me Mu Mole’ its brimming with good times vibes, with wickedly off-kilter tone to ‘Saozinha’ that’s really reminding us of DJ Nigga Fox’s more recent workouts, while ‘Zun Zon Pedlelu’ plays it down and lighter with effervescent appeal, and again it’s hard not to draw liens from he distinct rhythms of ‘Qua Na Bua Nega Fa’ to the modern day permutations of Lisbon’s amazing Príncipe label.