First for music news
This Week's Issue
You’re logged in

Buraka Som Sistema

Black Diamond

Buraka Som Sistema

7 / 10 It’s not only reformed Britpop frontmen and Ivy League indie swots who’ve been flashing the red, gold and green this year. Thanks to the likes of DJ Mujava and Esau Mwamwaya, some of 2008’s fiercest party anthems have ricocheted into UK clubs off the Horn Of Africa.

Buraka Som Sistema are actually from Lisbon, but they’re the chief international ambassadors for the Angolan genre of kuduro. In Portuguese it literally means “stiff butt”, and if you’ve seen the YouTube clips of Luanda street dudes doing bizarre bandy-legged struts before dropping abruptly on to their tailbones, you’ll know why.

Buraka’s breakneck carnival beats, wonky fanfares and rudimentary electro rumbles sound like exactly the thing MIA could get with. And, lo and behold, Travelex’s favourite customer turns up on ‘Sound Of Kuduro’ yelling “It’s upmarket, bro!” for no obvious reason other than shits and giggles. Elsewhere, excitable vocals are provided by ladies called things like Petty and Pongolove, whose rhymes probably wouldn’t make much more sense even if you could translate them.

If ‘Black Diamond’ – and kuduro in general – has a nervous, manic energy,
it probably stems from the fact Angola only recently emerged from a vicious 25-year civil war. Even when mediated by a bunch of tubby Portuguese chaps, this is party music with an authentic, violent sense of release. Arse cladding is recommended.

Sam Richards

To rate this track, log in to NME.COM

To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday


Please login to add your comment.

More Videos
More Buraka Som Sistema
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

NME Store & Framed Prints
Most Read Reviews
Popular This Week
Inside NME.COM
On NME.COM Today