Carlos Lamartine – Historias da Casa Velha

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Histórias da Casa Velha is a collection of songs released in Angola, mainly during the years leading to independence in 1975. In the 1960s and 1970s, Carlos Lamartine was one of the leading voices in the struggle against the Portuguese, and this collection highlights the difficulties and victories of the liberation movements he was a part of. Lamartine plays semba, a typically Angolan genre rooted in traditional carnival rhythms, such as kilapanga, rebita, kazukuta and kabetula. In semba, much of the rhythm is not carried by drums, but instead by guitars, allowing the music to develop more complex

chords, some of them borrowed from the Portuguese’s rich melodic heritage. Semba and Brazilian samba share common roots, however neither derives from the other: both appeared as they are today at the beginning of the 20th century, at a time when there was extremely limited exchange between Brazil and Angola. However both words come from the Kimbundu language, and both are rooted in the rhythms of present day Angola and the Democratic Congo.

This collection reflects the originality and rhythmic diversity of Angolan music, as well as its socialand political roots in pre-independence Angola. Behind every one of these songs, there is a tragedy, and the tacit acceptance of a troubled history. But beyond traditional fatalism, these songs also display hope and Angola’s then continuous fight for freedom. Times have changed, particularly in Angola, yet this music and its message remain timeless and universal.

Carlos Lamartine began his career when he joined pianist Sousa Júnior’s band from 1956 to 1958. Along with Bonga, he then co-founded the Kissuela band. After the group dissolved, he briefly joined Os Mulogues do Ritmo as tambourine player and backup singer. By 1965 Lamartine was a lead singer playing with Luanda’s finest orchestras. In 1970, he became lead singer for Os Aguias Reais, a group considered one of the best of that era. From 1973 to 1977, he again performed as an individual singer, backed up by famed orchestra Os Merengues, led by Carlitos Vieira Días, son of Carlos Vieira Días, founder of Ngola Ritmos, the group that paved the way for political semba in the 1950s. Histórias da Casa Velha has been released in Angola, with support from the Angolan ministry of culture. It is available worldwide for the first time, in this remastered version.

Past Posts about Carlos Lamartine:

  • Chop Our Music – 2 year Anniversary Super Release! January 1, 2011   Hard to believe, but it was just over 2 years ago that our first release, Akwaaba wo Africa, came out worldwide. What a journey it’s been since then! 2 dozen releases spanning the gamut from Nigerian highlife to Gambian griot kora, Angolan kuduro to Benin salsa… We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with artists from ...
  • Batida – Bazuka (hint at Carlos Lamartine) January 22, 2010 (Approximate BBRAVE vs Google translation from Dive into the archives of the RTP hand-picked historic archival footage, added some contemporary images we collected, and footage from our documentary “E Dreda Ser Angolano”. Lots ...
  • Listen to Carlos Lamartine’s Histórias da Casa Velha November 13, 2009
  • Afropop likes Carlos Lamartine & semba! September 15, 2009 Banning Eyre of Afropop wrote up a very, very instructive piece on Carlos Lamartine’s album Histórias da Casa Velha, and about Angolan semba and its general significance in Angolan culture and history.
  • “What can I say apart from utter fantastic” – Undomundo! September 13, 2009 It seems they like Carlos Lamartine’s album ;p Who’s they?, a very nice blog based in Turkey who feature all kinds of music, and have featured some of our releases in the past, in particular Mamou Sidibé here and there. Check them out, always on point + loads of freebies!!
  • 08/18 WW: Carlos Lamartine July 6, 2009 To balance out our kuduro release, Akwaaba Sem Transporte, here is a beautiful collection of Carlos Lamartine’s recordings, from the mid 1960s til 1975. He was a member of several bands, including Os Aguias Reais, and was backed up by some of Luanda’s best conjuntos: Os Merengues, African Show. The album comes out August 18 on ...
  • Stacks of Angolan 45s, or what’s left of them… May 15, 2009 It’s time for an update: We’ve been in Angola for 2 weeks now, meeting many musicians both old and new, and mesmerized by the diversity of music here. What strikes us most is the newer kuduro, which stands somewhere between hip hop, techno and traditional African drumming. You can hear a sample and read more ...
  • Akwaaba meets Carlos Lamartine (Angola) March 13, 2009 Akwaaba meets Carlos Lamartine from Akwaaba Music on Vimeo.

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