Words by Max Reinhardt
At full volume, this will rip your speakers off the walls and it doubtless tears up the dance floor wherever its played. In fact, it may well be a game-changing 21st century electronic African dance album. It vibrantly and explosively marks the moment at which a variant of dubstep enters the arena of African music, in a hyperactive embrace with Angola’s kuduro music and the aftershock of Brazilian Baile funk. And at the same time it is filled with a reverence for the 1970s Angolan music that it has liberally and joyfully sampled.
The Batida project is the work of Angolan-Portuguese DJ Mpula, also known as Pedro Coquenão. Inspired by kuduro, the sound of the Luanda streets and the work of African artists such as the Congolese rapper Baloji, he trawled his way through 70s Angolan tracks, sampled, remixed and reprocessed them and sent the heavy instrumentals to rappers in Angola and Lisbon with a few words of guidance. ‘Tirei O Chapeau’ starts out as a rumba and then suddenly finds itself rolling around in a sea of buzz-saw bass lines. On ‘Puxa’ the roots foundations float towards a vortex of slamming dubstep and sub-bass. An outstanding album from an outstanding label.
Listen to a choice track from Batida on the Top of the World CD included with the current issue (#84 June 2012).