by Buraka Som Sistema


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Komba, as a voice-over early in Buraka Som Sistema's so-titled sophomore album helpfully explains, is an Angolan religious tradition that's roughly the equivalent of an Irish wake: a massive party held a week after a death, celebrating the life of the deceased. The accordingly spooky and festive title track, which is primarily sung in English (and, in part, as though from beyond the grave), together with several references to Bantu tribal rituals in the opening "Eskeleto" (Skeleton), sets up the notion that the album will be something of a cultural guided tour. But save, perhaps, for the ominous, drum-driven instrumental "Macumba" (whose title refers to Afro-Brazilian folk religion), there's no other indication here (at least to Anglophones) that Portugal's Kuduro champions have any such edificatory intentions in mind: for all practical purposes, Komba is "conceptual" only in that -- as could only be expected -- it's just one hell of a party. Not tampering too much with the formula that made 2008's Black Diamond such an undeniable, explosive experience, Komba essentially delivers more of the same: fierce, hard-hitting, yet decidedly playful, fully polyglot electronic gutter-funk. The average intensity of these new tracks may have come down a notch (though they're still plenty fiery), and there's an uptick in what might seem like crossover pop concessions (not that there's anything wrong with that) -- incorporating elements from R&B ("Voodoo Love") and blandly populist dance-pop (first single "[We Stay] Up All Night" is something like the African tech-funk version of Kesha), as well as the self-explanatory reggaeton hybrid "Burakaton" -- basically, it's just the group indulging its omnivorous and well-established pan-global pop wanderlust. (See also the nutty "LOL & POP," which combines childlike taunts, Clipse-referencing raps, and shout-outs to past BSS tracks with a frenetic, vaguely surf-punky riff.) There aren't quite as many standout tracks this time around, but there are no real low points to speak of (although the dopey ghetto-tech vocal sampling of the incessantly blip-happy "Hypnotized" comes close), and there's plenty to enjoy, especially from a beat programming standpoint -- or, even more especially, from the center of a crowded, sweat-soaked dancefloor. Not at all a bad way to go.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/08/2011
Label: Enchufada
UPC: 0856968003009
catalogNumber: 15
Rank: 65489

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Buraka Som Sistema   Primary Artist
Igor Cavalera   Percussion,Drums
Nair   Vocals
Kaysha   Vocals
Kalaf   Vocals,Background Vocals
Sara Tavares   Vocals
Afrikan Boy   Vocals
Terry Lynn   Vocals
Conductor   Vocals
Roses Gabor   Vocals
Fred Ferreira   Percussion,Drums
Liliana Saumet   Vocals
Blaya   Vocals
Petra Nayr   Vocals
Aurora "Lola Boo" Gomes   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Igor Cavalera   Composer
Pedro Cruz   Engineer
Stephan Doitschinoff   Artwork
Sara Tavares   Composer
Buraka Som Sistema   Producer
Stereotyp   Programming,Producer
Artur David   Vocal Mixing
J. Barbosa   Composer
Rui Pite   Composer
Andro Carvalho   Composer
Stefan Moerth   Composer
Edward Mokolo   Composer
Laima Leyton Cavalera   Composer
Kalaf Angelo   Composer,Executive Producer,Art Direction
Nacobeta   Inspiration
Olushola Ajose   Composer
João Barbosa   Programming,Executive Producer
Brendon Harding   Engineer
Zumbi Ferreira   Executive Producer
Rosemary Wilson   Composer
Petra Nayr   Composer
Karla Rodrigues   Composer
Inês Valdez   Executive Producer
Frederico Ferreira   Composer
Edson Keid Fernandes   Composer
Cesária Martins   Artwork,Packaging

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