While his earliest recordings (Angola 72, Angola 74) were revived as CD reissues in the late 1990s, much of his exceptional work from the late 70s and early 80s, when his musical maturity and cosmopolitan experience combined to produce the iconic sound that has endured through the decades. Today we feature the album that spotlights Bonga's song Marika, which evolved from its semba roots on Angola 74 to become "real soukous" on this album. Critics of the day claimed that Bonga was abandoning his roots and becoming "commercial," but he rejected that criticism by claiming, justifiably, that soukous is related to the music of northern Angola. Indeed, one of the leading singers in Congolese rumba in that era was Sam Mangwana, who also has Angolan roots.
Bonga was, however, internationalist with his music, and Marika has the imprint of Cape Verdean morna and Portuguese fado, especially on the song, here called Camin Longe, which is a version of the epic Sodade that became a signature song for Cesaria Evora. Varied, interesting, stretching from traditional to organic African pop, I think you will like this album.