Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Have you heard about Kuduro?

I first heard about it 10 years ago in the house of a friend in the outskirts of Lisbon, he had a cd of Helder o Rei do Kuduro (The King of Kuduro). I couldn't get it by then, we (the portuguese whites) were too appart from any African music (due to the recent past of the still unspoken colonial war). It came from Angola and grew on an outskirt just nextdoor to my house. By now, it influences Portuguese mainstream music, proliferated internationally by bands such as Buraka Som Sistema that have on the past year put a song together with M.I.A.
But i'd say the kings are Helder, Puto Prata and every small outkast project.
It is extremely powerfull to listen, sing along and dance to.

here's a wiki text on Kuduro:

Kuduro (or kuduru) is a type of music originally born in Angola in the 1980s. It is characterized as uptempo, energetic, and danceable.

The roots of kuduro can be traced to the late 1980s when producers in Luanda, Angola started mixing African percussion samples with simple calypso and soca rhythms to create a style of music then known as "batida". European and American electronic music had begun appearing in the market, which attracted Angolan musicians and inspired them to incorporate their own musical styles.An Angolan MC, Sebem, began toasting over this and is credited with starting the genre.

The name itself is a word with a specific meaning to location in the Kimbundu language, which is native to the northern portion of Angola. It has a double meaning in that it also translates to "hard ass" or "stiff bottom" in Portuguese, which is the official language of Angola. Kuduro dancing is similar to Dancehall dancing of Jamaica. It combines traditional Angolan Kilapanga, Semba and Zouk with Western house and techno. As Vivian Host points out in her article, despite the common assumption that "world music" from non-Western countries holds no commonalities with Western modern music, Angolan kuduro does contain "elements in common with punk, deep tribal house, and even Daft Punk. It is thus the case that cultural boundaries and limitations within the musical spectrum are constantly shifting and being redefined. And though Angolan kuduro reflects an understanding and, further, an interpretation of Western musical forms, the world music category that it fits under tends to reject the idea of Western musical imperialism.The larger idea here is that advancements in technology and communications and the thrust of music through an electronic medium have made transcending cultural and sonic musical structures possible. According to Blentwell Podcasts, kuduro is a "mixture of house, hip-hop, and ragga elements," which illustrates how this is at once an Angolan-local and global music. Indeed, this "musical cross-pollination", as Vivian Host calls it, represents a local appropriation of global musical forms, such that the blending of different musics creates the music of a "new world."

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