A1 Ami Cu Manu Mu 6:08
A2 Philomene 7:57
A3 Inen Mina Fleguedja 5:09
B1 Sueste 7:04
B2 Meu 6:46
B3 Subocha 5:14
C1 Balança Cunxença 5:05
C2 Non Conveta Quâ 6:33
C3 Minha Butchu 7:17
D1 Glavi Funçon 5:25
D2 Vida Sà Uâ Só 7:03
D3 Floli Xacla 7:14
Praise for Pedro Lima’s "Maguidala":
“His honeyed voice dances effortlessly amongst the puxas and rumbas as Congolese and Angolan grooves mix with traditional São Toméan rhythms” Songlines ★★★★
"Pedro Lima's dancefloor pulverising masterpiece” The Wire
For the fourth instalment in their ongoing series devoted to the joyous African rhythms of São Tomé & Principe, the Lusophone island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, Bongo Joe are focusing their attention on the storied life and career of Pedro Lima, "A voz do povo de São Tomé" (the people's voice of Sao Tomé).
“Recordar é viver: Antologia Vol. 1”, out August 19 and featuring some previously unreleased tracks, is a comprehensive look into the discography of one of the islands’ biggest stars, known for his political outspokenness as much as for his soft voice, delicate rumbas, and high-energy puxas.
Curated by French digger DJ Tom B, the compilation follows the reissue of Lima’s seminal album Maguidala, and the release of the much loved compilation Léve Léve: São Tomé & Principe sounds 70s-80s and most recently África Negra‘s Antologia Pt.1.
The story begins in Almas, a coastal town with a lively music scene a few kilometres away from the capital Sao Tomé, where two childhood friends dreamed of following in the footsteps of local bands like Grupo Musical Almense and Conjunto Almeirim. Unable to afford their own instruments, Leopoldino "Gundu” Silva and Pedro de Apresentação Tavares Lima built a basic bandolim (mandolin, typically used in Sao Tomean popular music) and traditional drum set with what they could find. Despite their rudimentary instruments, their skills and reputation kept growing, and the tide turned dramatically in 1968 when local band Conjunto Os Leoninos dissolved and offered the young conjunto their brand new instruments.
Armed with a professional drum-set and electrical guitars and amps, they named themselves Os Leonenses in honour of their benefactors, and were soon joined by several other musicians, many of them Pedro’s own family members. With Leopoldino on vocals and guitar, Pedro, who’d been fascinated with rhythm since he was a child, initially played the tumbas, traditional conga-like drums, and later bass guitar. In the mid 1970s he stepped in when the band’s lead singer failed to turn up for a gig, and the audience was so enamoured with his deep yet delicate voice that he permanently took up the position of lead singer.
Os Leonenses kept playing together up until Pedro’s death in 2019, performing at large events around the islands and on the continent. Pedro Lima was also one of the few singers from the islands to record in Luanda Angola for N'Gola and Merengue labels in the 70's and in Lisbon for the essential IEFE imprint in the 80's. The band’s earlier music is built around the strong rhythms and infectious energy of Sao-Toméan Samba Socopé ("only with the feet” in Portuguese), but with the influence of Congolese soukous, Cape Verdean Coladeira, elements from French West-Indies Cadence/Compas, and Brazilian Afoxé, it soon developed into the infectiously danceable style known as “puxa”.
After travelling to Angola to record several records with the band, Pedro travelled to Gabon in 1981 to record his first album under his own name Kafou-Kafou, released by the tiny early 80’s Afro-funk and Soukouss label called Tchi-Tchi. Backed by his faithful Os Leonenses, Pedro demonstrated his compositional skills and ability to balance the band’s powerful rhythm section with São Tomé & Principe’s harmonic backing vocal traditions, creating strong, dance floor ready puxas or melodic, delicate rumbas. One of the songs from this album to feature on the compilation is Subocha, a beautiful ode to president President Manuel Pinto da Costa, a lifelong friend of Pedro’s.
Pedro was always a faithful supporter of the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe (MLSTP), the revolutionary party that took power after independence from the Portuguese in