In the 1990s, Mario Lucio and his band Simentera used electronics and acoustic guitar to expand musical forms like traditional Cape Verdean morna, the Brazilian, Latin American and Haitian-inspired coladeira, or the funaná sound that was the soundtrack of the former Portuguese colony’s independence. Also active as a painter and writer, lawyer and politician, the composer thus brought about a paradigm shift in the regional music scene that also created international ripples. Before their breakup in 2005, Simentera recorded four albums and also worked behind the scenes for the local culture. After Lucio recently revealed the transcontinental links of funaná to Cuba and Haiti and explored the socio-political dimension of the genre with his solo album Funanight, Simentera’s return to the stage now offers the opportunity for a renewed survey.
Lechuga Zafiro AKA Pablo de Vargas does the supposedly impossible, uniting Afro-Uruguayan candombe rhythms with experimental compositional techniques and a club sound that integrates kuduro and baile funk elements. His contemporary candombe interpretation couldn’t sound any more futuristic. His latest release, Testigo, transforms sounds from the environment like splashing water into hard grooves, which break down typical candombe elements into their rhythmic parts.