Thursday, June 14, 2007

Kuduro — a new ghetto beat from Luanda

As I've already mentioned, in the conference, where I took part, Frederic Galliano presented a new electronic music style from Angola, called kuduro. In fact, it's not so new, but just now it starts getting international recognition, and Monsieur Galliano has taken upon himself the role of "ambassador" of this style.

So, what kind of shit is it? Oh, it's the wild one. The core element is a rather unique rhythm, created electronically, even if it doesn't sound like a "computer music" — the traditional percussions, similar to the ones of batucada, are used. The real street style employs rough sounds and wicked beats. Then there are MCs aggressively rapping on beats. Rapping itself sound more like of hardcore dancehall than hip-hop. The dominating language is Portuguese. Another kuduro element is crazy dancing, which seems to be influenced by traditional dance and break-dance. To have a better idea of what kuduro sounds like and how it's danced, check these videos presented by Galliano:

Frédéric Galliano Kuduro Sound System


Tony Amado has been credited as a creator of kuduro sound. The style was born in the mid 90's, but it stayed really underground and local until recent. It's funny that Amado says that he got inspiration for creating kuduro after seeing how Van Damme dances in one of his movies.

The creation of Kuduro by Tony Amado

You can also check Galliano's myspace, where you can hear his Kuduro Sound System, which is somewhat milder and more production orientated version of kuduro, but still featuring original MCs.

Another bit worth watching is this video for a kuduro piece by a gang Os Lambas from Luanda, Angola. I've been told that when they had released this song, all the taxi drivers, when they entered their neighbourhood, were forced to play this particular tune.

Apart from Angola, there is a kuduro scene in Portugal as well. However, Portuguese kuduro is milder, smoother and in a way more commercial, too. The most known band is Buraka Som Sistema, which can be seen at different music festivals:

Their myspace page here.

I'm going to write more elaborated feature on kuduro for the next Jaffa Magazine issue.

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