Album: The Beginning, the Medium, the End and the Infinite
Release Date: March 5, 2021
Label: Crammed Discs
- “Falta Muito?”
- “The Medium (O Meio)”
- “The End (Kamicasio)”
IKOQWE are a pair of fictional characters who, coming from a distant time and space, are confronted with today’s world. Their impressions are conveyed over the course of an exciting album which blends electronic music, hip hop and the sounds of ancestral instruments from Angola.
If you read this description of IKOQWE’s Bandcamp site and aren’t interested in what they sound like, I don’t know what to tell you. The description of the duo’s debut album goes on to say:
The album contains 11 tracks, and includes drum machines, vocals in Angolan slang, Umbundu, Portuguese & English, discussions about neocolonialism, iniquities & falsified history, radio sounds, utopian solutions, and much more.
I can also tell you that there are some sick beats on this album. It’s creative and vibrant, and I’m sure I’ll be grooving to it for some time to come.
Around the World for a Good Book selection for Angola
Author: Jose Eduardo Agualusa
Title: A General Theory of Oblivion
Translator: Daniel Hahn
Publication Info: London : Harvill Secker, 
This book tells the story of Ludo, a Portuguese woman living in the Angolan capital of Luanda. When a revolution achieves independence for Angola in 1975, Ludo does not join the crowd of colonizers returning to Portugal, but instead bricks herself into a penthouse apartment, surviving on self-grown vegetables and trapped pigeons. There she remains for 30 years, as Angola suffers Civil War and its original Leftist government falls to one more welcoming of capitalism.
The novel is written more as a series of vignettes, short chapters of sparse text reflecting the isolation of Ludo and other characters, physically and metaphorically. There are other storylines in the novel outside Ludo’s apartment, which may be things that Ludo is aware from hearing out her window, or memories of earlier days, or just other people’s stories. It’s never really clear. And Ludo isn’t completely alone for 30 years as she has encounters with two other people over that time, one that goes poorly, and one much better, but I won’t spoil that here.
A General Theory of Oblivion is an interesting and challenging novel. For Around the World for a Good Book purposes it also a good introduction to Angola’s history since independence.