by / November 29th, 2011 /

Buraka Som Sistema – Komba

 3/5 Rating


Derived from Angolan term, Komba is a festive and energetic way of celebrating the life of the deceased. Despite the album title, it just seems to be another conventional Buraka Som Sistema release, featuring their typecast, underground Kuduro electronics blended with melodic Portuguese chants.

Introduced to the wider world through ‘Kalemba (Wegue Wegue)’ which featured on the video game FIFA 10 soundtrack, Buraka Som Sistema’s2008 debut Black Diamond was visibly subversive and deliberately hardcore. Fast forward to 2011 and you will find B.S.S. still maintaining this rebellious Kuduro house style, but smoother in texture and more in-tune with what’s acceptable in the mainstream.

Minimally percussive, fronted by poppy lyricism and backed by a pulsing supersaw effect, pieces like ‘(We Stay) Up All Night’ symbolise the direction which the electronic quartet is heading towards; a more musically tolerable audience. The Portuguese band have also considered other niches, too. They seem to steer towards the music’s origins by drifting away from a highly trebled sound, emphasising more strenuous bass and applying the rudimentary thuds of the drum machine.

For a group that has had the privilege of distributing a FabricLive compilation in late 2009, and to be the dead-ringer, Portuguese equivalent of The Prodigy and Utah Saints, this sophomore album isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. The album’s high times are, regrettably, limited to four to five tunes, leaving the listener satisfied but not impatient for their next release.

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