June 3, 2015
For our latest film, Rita Maia navigates the unique and mostly unknown vinyl scene in one of Europe’s oldest and sunniest capitals.
To help tell the city’s story, Rita invited a handful of friends, respected collectors and DJs to go record shopping. Visiting markets and tucked away shops, the film explores Lisbon’s unique collection of records from Cape Verde, Mozambique, Guine Bissau, Angola, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Brazil, to name but a few countries.
Words: Rita Maia
Lisbon’s rich musical identity is steeped in its cultural diversity, which in turn is a result of its colonial history. Centuries of rhythms and dances from Brazil, Africa, India and East Asia have found a second home in Lisbon. Music from Lusophone (Portuguese speaking) countries around the world can be found in every corner of Lisbon’s narrow streets and flea markets.
Following the revolution in 1974, which put an end to dictatorship in Portugal and started the colonial independence process, a great influx of people brought their records with them to Lisbon. Over the years, the records have remained in town with families, traders and collectors and some have found their way into markets and shops. What’s more, back in the heyday of vinyl, many records were actually pressed in Lisbon, making the city a unique location to find rare and unusual records.
Today, these older records along with other western music influences are helping shape Lisbon’s growing electronic music scene. A generation of music makers, who grew up in Lisbon, recognise the Brazilian and African collection, and play, sample, interpret and collect these records, thereby keeping their legacy alive. There’s a great selection of records to be found but as if often the case, you must dig deep to find them.