Saturday, 19 March 2011

Freedom Now: Sounds of Portugal - Pt.4

Freedom Now: Sounds of Portugal is the latest in our series of mixtapes, and it can be downloaded for free here. One of the highlights of the mix is Maria Rita by Duo Ouro Negro. I have been half expecting someone to point out that the duo was not actually from Portugal at all, which would be true enough. The pair, Raul Indipwo and Milo MacMahon, were originally from Angola. And I can’t even claim that they were based in Portugal all the time. As true internationalists, they lived and performed all over the place, and their music reflected that. But they certainly are closely associated with Portugal, and it was via the Portuguese TV special Rua D’Iliza that I first stumbled across Duo Ouro Negro. This was a musical drama the pair produced, drawing heavily on their Angolan roots, and it’s such a glorious infectious work. It’s certainly one of my favourite posts over at Anywhere Else But Here Today.
Predicatably I’m no expert on the work of Duo Ouro Negro, but from what I’ve heard I absolutely love the way their sound is so fantastically mixed-up. At one moment their vocal harmonies are as sweet as the Everly Brothers, but then you consider there seem to be traces of African folk sounds, Cuban music, Brazilian samba and a whole lot more at any one time. An internet favourite is a 1959 recording with the Brazilian accordionist Sivuca, which is exquisite. And a favourite of mine is their version of the Indonesian lullaby Suliram, which oddly I first heard via the Yugoslavian singer Oivera Vuco, who recorded it in 1966. Coincidentally Olivera and Duo Ouro Negro were at various times in the ‘60s the toast of Paris at the Olympia. In fact Duo Ouro Negro are credited with making kwela the hippest dance craze in Paris in the mid-‘60s. But I always thought kwela was from South Africa ...
This is my particular favourite Duo Ouro Negro track which is simply gorgeous. I wish I could find footage of the pair singing it, but for now:

No comments:

Post a Comment