Arp Frique returns with a brand new release on his imprint Colorful World Records in collaboration with Rush Hour. A compilation of 12 Cape Verdean gems assembled with the help and knowledge of Americo Brito, there is a very special story behind it. Americo Brito, who features on Arp Frique’s original Nos Magia, is a proud and important member of the Cape Verdean community in Rotterdam. His story reveals the historical connections between radio, vinyl, Cabo Verde and Rotterdam’s international music scene in the 70s and 80s. Cape Verdeans have migrated all over the world, mainly to cities with big harbours, like New York, Boston and Rotterdam (Holland). Rotterdam became one of the main destinations (next to Portugal) on the European mainland. When Americo, like many of his friends and relatives moved to Rotterdam, he quickly became infected with the music virus. Surrounded on a daily basis by Cape Verdean music in Portuguese pensions and small hotels, this was where sailors ingested a dose of “sodade” through the interpretations of their beloved music by the local Cape Verdean artists. Americo took to the stage with his band Djarama in the 70s and 80s. Here he works with Rotterdam local Arp Frique to serve up Cape Verdean music old and new with plenty of traditional Funana and Coladeira sounds next to jams influenced by wave, disco and funk, jazz, reggae and Latin pop.
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Continuing Ostinato’s series of Cape Verde 45s showcasing diasporan bands that are staples in Europe’s Cape Verdean communities, Ostinato Records presents timeless dance music for the summer by Conjunto Jovens Africanos, founded by Ze Orlando, a respected producer originally from São Tomé. Formed and originally based in Lisbon, the band fused raw Funaná rhythms from the Cape Verdean island of Santiago with syncopated electric guitars, raucous synthesizers, relentless percussion, and addictive vocals that kept their compatriots on their feet across little known Krioulu nightclubs in Europe’s major cities. First released in 1984, Conjuntos Jovens Africanos’ ”Nhu Jhon” and ”Volta Pa Terra” are stellar representations of modernized Funaná’s endless energy.
The Colorful World of Arp Frique is the exotic and super funky debut album of Niels Nieuborg. After his surprising, very well received debut release on Rush Hour, Arp Frique continues collaborating with Orlando Julius, Ed Motta, Americo Brito, Ronald Snijders and more. On this surprise debut album, he continues the same approach, delivering a scintillating set of tracks that gleefully join the dots between Afro-disco, jazz-funk, boogie, Caribbean reggae-disco, bossa-soul and the kind of up-tempo, synth-laden madness that defies easy categorization. Throughout, the presence of live drums, vocals and instrumentation gives the album a loose and fluid feel, as if what we’re listening to is not a fresh album, but rather a long lost African rarity from the turn of the ’80s.
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Arp Frique is Niels Nieuborg from the city of Rotterdam, who has been actively involved in the Dutch live music scene for years, working with Cape Verdean & Surinamese musicians especially. After all these years, he finally presents his own true musical output. “Nos Magia” is a classic sounding, but unheard Cape Verdean funana song featuring the old skool Americo Brito on vocals. The b-side holds two collaborations with afro-beat protagonist Orlando Julius.
In the 1980s, that feeling transpired across Lisbon, Paris, Rotterdam, and Boston, as one the largest waves of migration from a single country, propelled by political instability and economic uncertainty, sent thousands of Cape Verdeans to the West’s cities. Through 18 diverse tracks, this compilation reveals how immigration from the Cape Verde Islands to Europe and the United States gave us an alternate history of the electronic music that dominated hearts and minds across the world in the late 1990s. But the story doesn’t start in a major Western cultural hub, rather in the small cluster of islands 400 miles off the Senegalese coast, and offers an unparalleled insight into the longterm cultural splendor catalyzed by migration.
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