Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Marrabenta was rough, yet energetic, urban dance-music that arose during the 1950s. It was a fusion of merengue, calypso, and a fast rhythm called majika. This musical style became synonymous with the political struggle for independence in Mozambique and was almost completely wiped out during the civil war of the 1980s. The name "Marrabenta" came from the fact that the music was once played on "self constructed guitars from fuel canisters and fishing wire, often struck so hard the strings snapped." Thus the name "Marrabenta" (from the Ronga word "arrabenta") which means "breaking."
Wazimbo, the male vocalist for this band, is considered to be one of the great voices of Mozambique and is currently enjoying a successful solo career. Wazimbo was once a part of the national radio station in Mozambique and this didn't hurt. His experience with Grupo Radio Mocambique helped prepare him for a role in the music industry as it manifested in that region.
The last track on the album Nwahulwana was captured on tape completely by accident. It wasn't until the mixing was done in London that it was discovered and the song ended up being a big hit for the band. Though this track is darker than the rest, Orchestra Marrabenta Star De Mocambique is an African dance band at its best. The Orchestra was one of the most exciting bands in the 1980s and 1990s.