There are two heavy afro-electro roots based manifestations on either side of the South Atlantic, oddly enough both from from former Portuguese colonies: Funk Carioca from Brazil and Kuduro from Angola. Each is different but sometimes they like each other and they get together.
Baile Funk (Funk Carioca)
I’m not going to go on a huge ethnohistorical rant about what Baile Funk music is all about. Let’s just say that it comes from the marginalized classes, mostly of African descent, in the hillside slums of Rio de Janeiro (hence the term Carioca). It is all about the manifestation: the dance, the rap, and the jam. That is what a baile is, a party. So it’s party music with electronic beats based on afro-brazilian musical forms, cut up remixed and rapped over by an MC. It has gotten a bad rap (pardon the pun) by the Brazilian middle classes and the media because A. the sexually explicit lyrics and dance, and B. because mainstream media everywhere is usually racist and classist. Nevertheless, the music has become very popular and a great number of people love it, and even more essentially express guilty pleasure at liking it so much that they dance to it alone in front of the mirror or their web cams. Wikipedia breakdown.
It’s wicked to see a crew dancing in unison to the tracks, and damn, they can dance.
In the last 5 years it has gotten popular all over the world because DJ Diplo picked up the vibe and made beats for MIA that carried the Funk DNA, although with a more refined air. The Funk Carioca that I know is raw, or cru (as they would say in Brazil). It is of course a genre that has been around for two decades so it has had a certain evolution. Check the tunes and videos below.
Diplo’s documentary trailer on Funk Carioca in Brazil.
Old school Funk track that gives you a little perspective of what environment the Funk Carioca came from.
more modern tracks in this 10 minute mix.
Wikipedia: “Kuduro (or kuduru) is a type of music and dance originally born in Angola in the 1980s. It is characterized as uptempo, energetic, and danceable. Kuduro, which translates as “hard ass”, began in Luanda, Angola in the late 80s. Initially, producers sampled traditional carnival music like zouk and soca from the Caribbean and semba from Angola and laid this around a fast 4/4 beat.”
Kuduro is hard hitting and the dance is ‘street’ almost up-rock style that involves the articulation of all appendages, some acrobatics and a lot of style. While popular in Portuguese speaking African countries, Kuduro recently gained traction in Europe through the sounds of Buraka Som Sistema from Portugal and the significant expat Angolan community in Lisbon. What brought Buraka Som Sistema and the sound of Kuduro to the rest of the world once again involved MIA and the video below.
Kuduro from Angola. A production from around the same time…
Now the party for this stuff in Toronto is at Bunda Lounge ~ The Home of Global Bass Music @ 1108 Dundas St. West (@ Ossington) Doors 10pm – $5 cover. Check check it out. This will soon be a monthly series.