Buraka Som Sistema‘s single “Stoopid” is practically a literal description of what they have in store for us on their third full album, simply titled Buraka, which drops tomorrow and also marks the group’s first international major label release. On the track, the MCs Conductor and Blaya pretty much list out the genres that influenced the new sound of the Portuguese band, including changa tuki, azonto, reggaeton, footwork and bhangra. And this is not just a name-dropping exercise. The Buraka fellows are restless researchers of rhythms from all around the world, and that is precisely what they’re going to give you.
Of course, the sound and elements from kuduro are still present on Buraka, so this is not a huge departure from their past work. But their approach to music has a permeable quality that lets new and different influences enrich their output, showcasing their ability to keep their sound updated and fresh. “Stoopid” is evidence, built around a sample from DJ Baba, a changa tuki OG producer from Caracas. There’s also “Do Me Now,” a straight-up zouk bass tune gone pop; and the refined azonto vibes on “Van Damme.” But don’t forget this: Buraka equals party music, and their high octane flavor is perfect for club and live situations. We can call Buraka a world music record, but not in the corny, cliché sense at all. It’s a synthesis of global bass music, old and new, interpreted through the band’s special point of view.
(Photo by Goncalo F Santos)