Video: Batida – "Alegria"

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Brazil is home to the most famous carnaval celebration in the world. But the roots of that parade and its vibrant music can be traced back to Angola, a former Portuguese colony in Africa, where most of the Afro-Brazilian slaves came from.

Angolan music gained its own notoriety a few years ago thanks to the local phenomenon of a crazy up-tempo style of electronic music called kuduro, thanks mainly to artist like M.I.A., Buraka Som Systema, and yes, Don Omar who used this rhythm in their songs (unfortunately, most Latinos out there dancing to the Don Omar hit song still don’t know what kuduro is).

It’s not easy to find the connections between the current kuduro and the traditional Angolan music that permeated into Brazil. Or it wasn’t, until Batida showed up at the kuduro party.

Batida is new project by an Angolan/Portuguese DJ/producer named Pedro Coquenão, who goes by the alias of DJ Mpula, and has been exploring the roots of Angolan music, sampling it, and turning it into kuduro. It’s eponymous debut album is scheduled to be released on March 19th on Soundway Records, a British label that so far only released re-issues of hard to find Afro-tropical music aimed to DJs and vinyl collectors.

Alegria” is Batida’s first single and its video features archival footage from carnaval in Luanda during the ’70s. Any similarity with Brazil is not a coincidence.

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