Cultura Dura is a Remezcla and Mike’s HARDER content and event series highlighting emerging Latin urban culture. We’ll be exploring scenes that haven’t really gotten any coverage anywhere else – from block parties and street art to underground sports and raw, young artists making movements pa’ la calle.
With Buraka Som Sistema’s full length album out this week on Universal, it’s a choice moment to take a step back to shine a light on changa tuki, pioneered in Caracas, which was heavily referenced on the LP, Buraka.
Think a hard-hitting four to the floor beat paired with an unrelenting ’90s European techno influence, and tempos in the some of the faster regions (think 140 beats per minute), and there you have it– changa tuki. The word “tuki,” a derogatory term for poorer neighborhoods, is flipped by the producers of the said genre, working in loops of regional rhythms specific to Venezuela (in this sense, in a way that could be compared to tribal guarachero, but with a different set of reference points), creating a rave soundtrack all its own.
Buraka, who are based in Lisbon but travel frequently enough to be able to collaborate in-person and remotely, also run Enchufada Records that released pioneers Pocz & Pacheko’s Changa Letal EP in 2012. Though the scene’s origins are rooted in Caracas, many of the major players are now spread between Barcelona, Santiago de Chile, Melbourne, and New York, with the Abstractor label being a platform for ongoing collaborations at the distance.
Be sure to check out the definitive short documentary on the changa tuki scene below, “¿Quién Quiere Tuki?,” produced by Mostro Contenidos and the Abstractor label with animation studio Design or Die, with some front-row shots of the producers and dancers that make up the scene in the midst of the rave action. Also included below is the compilation produced to coincide with the documentary, curated and mixed by Pocz & Pacheko, which features mainstays from the scene like DJ Baba, DJ Roland, DJ Yirvin and El Mago.