Record Review: Buraka Som Sistema

Buraka Som Sistema
Amadora, Portugal

“Colorful, upbeat electro ghettotech tunes from Portugal”

It’s been three years since Portugal’s lauded electronic dance group Buraka Som Sistema premiered their debut album. For their second full-length studio release, Komba, they’ve mastered the art of combining two genres from different continents, taking techno and a popular African genre called kuduro to create a polished blend of energetic songs that never drop the tempo.

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The 12-track album begins with “Eskeleto,” a hip-hop track accompanied by aggressive synthesizers, a few MCs and a female vocalist over a droning, driving chorus. Standout tracks like “Tiro O Pé” sound like baile funk with popping dollops of melodic tones, sassy “LOL & POP” sounds like it could have been a lost Peaches track while “Hangover (BaBaBa)” shows off the trio’s skill of making songs with almost-dizzying, pulsating rhythms without overwhelming listeners.
The lyrics bounce back and forth between English and Portuguese, further cementing their knack for fusing their culture’s sound, cadences and rhythmic traditions with other styles without alienating their audience. The tracks are pleasantly intrusive, not allowing for any straying attention. Between the hailstorm of vocals, treasure trove of unrelenting beats and combination of rhythmic influences, this album is worthy of many spins. (Enchufada)

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