Fabric 49

12.12.09

Roughly to their chosen sound what Aaron Lacrate is to Baltimore club or Bonde Do Role are to Brazilian baille funk, Buraka Som Sistema represent a kind of missing link between b-more breaks, funk carioca and kuduro, the street sound of Angola.

DIY dance music that spread from its homeland over to Portugal where, against the odds, it’s even become a pop presence, Buraka Som Sistema are the best known exponents of the sound.

Their take on kuduro is a mongrelised one, but along with Diplo and MIA who they worked with on ‘The Sound of Kuduro’, love them or hate them, they’ve helped foster the concept of pan-global club music, one which disproves the idea that it’s only beats from the West that matter. And they make light work of that here, speeding through 28 globe-trotting tracks in just over 70 minutes.

An unholy romp involving gloopy chainsaw riffage from Zomby, a sea of remix dialogue between BSS and other like-minded producers (Diplo, L-Vis 1990, Dre Skull) and best of all, DJ Znobia’s Pausa and Batida’s fierce Bazuka (Quem Me Rusgou?), it’s held together by a tough rhythmic stomp (kuduro does mean “hard ass” after all) and an inexorable, bulldozing energy.

It’s refreshingly, wilfully unpretentious, but can also be erratic as BSS don’t seem to care about finding common ground between styles as much as they do randomly slapping different ones together. Not the deft border-crossing summit hoped for then, but it is naggingly fun, with a will to entertain that slays all comers.