Tag Archives: kuduro

EP Roundup: Hudson Mohawke / Dark Sky / Hard Ass Sessions VI

Hudson MohawkeSatin Panthers (Warp)

Hudson Mohawke’s first release since his seminal 2009 album Butter is a bit uneven, teasing for a few songs before delivering on its lofty expectations. “Octan” shimmers but doesn’t really go anywhere, and the synth line on “Cbat” is a little too squeaky, distracting from the future hop beat.

Then, finally, there’s the type of orchestral future bass that HudMo practically invented. “All Your Love” features a big R&B melody, thunderous drums, and tinkling synths that propel the song forward; the off-kilter rave piano that comes into focus about halfway through is perfect. The EP closes with “Thank You,” a super collider of drumline rhythms that is reminiscent of “FUSE.”

Dark SkyRadius EP (50 Weapons)

Dark Sky‘s Radius EP, on Modeselektor’s 50Weapons imprint, cements their place in the post-dubstep / bass music conversation. As their name suggests, Dark Sky makes foreboding, moody bass music. But it still is danceable – albeit in a very specific way: “Speeding Blue” and “The Lick” mix wobbly melodies with the scattershot riddims of UK funky and grime.

While Dark Sky has already established a well-defined style, the standout tracks on Radius couldn’t be more different from each other. “Neon” shifts from warm, house synths to chilly chiptune; both are equally addictive. On the other hand, “Be Myself” is a techy tribute to programmed beats and creepy samples.

Various artistsHard Ass Session VI (Enchufada)

Compiled by Buraka Som Sistema’s J-Wow, the latest volume in the Hard Ass Sessions brings together four top notch producers, each with a different take on tropical bass. Living up to the series’ name (“kuduro” translates to “hard ass”), Kry Wolf’s “Picadinho Di Pedalina” and Schlachthofbronx’s “Backup Run” are kuduro bangers. For cumbia fans, Cardopusher offers the surging “Tu Bizcochito.” The only outlier stylistically is “Waiting On.” The track is pure Brenmar, though, mashing together a hip-hop sample and vibrant, funky drums.

J-Wow’s 2011 Hard Ass Mix draws on these tracks, among others.

Munchi steps up his kuduro game

Kuduro is to Angola what baile funk is to Brazil: energetic dance music born in the melting pot of local and international influences. Sidestepping a discussion of the pros and cons of globalization, it’s fair to say that these amalgamated styles are benefits of cultural exchanges. Kuduro, thanks to the influence of Portuguese musicians, is blessed with both African and Latin rhythms, along with the distinct sounds of mainstream EDM. The genre had an underground hit in 2008 when MIA teamed up with leading purveyors Buraka Som Sistema.

In the spirit of global musical exchange, Munchi, the moombahton king of the Netherlands, is trying his hand at kuduro with his Kuduro Promo.

Munchi continues to select the perfect tracks for his genre-bending endeavours. His take on “Milkshake” samples bits and pieces of the Kelis hit into something entirely new, and in what he calls a Kuduro-more bootleg remix, Munchi corrupts the French electro of Sebastian’s “H.A.L.” into a bass-thumping, gun-cocking adventure.

Munchi originals “Minigame 2000” and “Ta Maluco” are stripped down and raw: squealing chiptune melodies, non-stop beats and Angolan chants. The same can be said of the two bonus tracks, leftovers from an earlier version of the EP. However, the highlight of the promo is his remix of Steve Starks’ “Git Em.” While the original is a Miami-meets-Baltimore percussion grenade, Munchi’s version is more of a laser-tag battle. But like the original, it does just what the title says.

Throughout history, musical genres have been created by forces much larger than the musicians themselves, be it slavery, imperialism or globalization. Adding the Internet into the mix accelerates the process without the oppression, letting a kid from Rotterdam make a name for himself with sounds that originated a world away.