Whoa, Angolan production team Nirvanas & Beats fire up the heavy kuduro. I’d never heard of these cats until tonight, but I’ve listened to Buraka Som Sistema for a long time. Buraka is a Portuguese kuduro act that can break the night.

What I don’t know about kuduro could fill many books. Doesn’t matter, though. My only intention is to let you feel some joy.

What I like about the Vagabandas video above is that nothing is happening. These kids are standing in some tunnel in the middle of nowhere and singing and dancing for no one. The camera pans and shows desolation with a cityscape behind it. Sometimes we see a soul or two dancing for no one on a sidewalk. Then we are shown an entire neighborhood sitting on the steps looking bored. This reminds me of the early WuTang videos where the RZA, the GZA, Meth, Ugod, Ol’ Dirty, and company would pose in abandoned buildings and vacant lots doing nothing. By the light of oil can fires like classic New York bums. Surely there must be oil cans in Angola. Example 1. Example 2.

The Buraka Som Sistema video for ‘Aqui Para Voces’ is no better; it takes place in the ephemeral world of intercontinental shipping, but in its liminal zone the port.

Here we see deviants (dark-skinned mutants, psychedelic refugees, sexual fantasists) careening, performing, parading through the ever-so-popular world of the shipping container (but again for no one). The shipping container has come to represent a sort of Third Way for architecture to intervene on the behalf of the poor and provide them the novelty of shelter. The shipping container is also a representative icon of¬†global mobility and anonymity in its ascendance. These things travel everywhere and no one knows what’s in them. Hundreds stacked end to end on boats that might travel under the flags of many nations or none at all.

In the end the police come and deliver the stick for their attempts at a night-masque of liberation never having shown the carrot.

This Blackness It Burns | 2011 | Music, Thought | Tags: , ,