Favorite Video(s) of the Week: Kuduro

Fofodji – Toi fais gaffe from Ben Le Pat on Vimeo.

(you will have to click the link to view the whole video)
Fofodji-Toi Fais Gaffe from the Lisbon kuduro scene. Check out the lowrider bikes, the contribution from my people!

You might remember awhile back when I was crazy over the Sound of Kuduro by Buraka Som Sistema. This was back when I was eager to share all kinds of global dance trends with you all. I kept thinking, nothing new’s come along but more likely, it’s just that I hadn’t had much time to seek these things out. And then I remembered these kuduro videos I was going to post long ago and forgot.

More on Kuduro (from Wikipedia, sorry!):

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.[2] An Angolan MC, Sebem, began toasting over this and is credited with starting the genre.[3]

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 is mostly influenced by zouk, soca, and rara music genres. It also combines Western house and techno with traditional Angolan kilapanga and semba music.[4] 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.”[5] 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.[5] 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,”[6] which illustrates how this is at once an Angolan-local and global music. Indeed, this “musical cross-pollination”[5], 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.”

Costileta – Xiriri

This is a popular kuduro tune from Angola. The dancing is impressive!

Kuduro is also extremely popular in France as evidenced by this compilation clip of French youth under the kuduro spell. The dancing gets particularly good around 1:28.

Read more here: Kuduro: Techno from Angola to the World

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