Kuduro : African Rave Techno

27 September 2006

A few months ago at the [[Forca Angola kuduro float|Berlin Karnival)] I discovered this dark banging four to the floor style out of Angola and posted here about it. The ever knowledgeable Maga Bo told me it was called Kuduro, and a little wikipedia reading and a lot of p2p-ing later I had a few hours of the stuff on my laptop. Here's something to listen to while you read:

Micolo [ 2005] - Kuduro

Kuduro means "hard ass" or "stiff bottom" in Portuguese (the language of Angola). Some Americans learn their geography when the US invades those places. I learn it when that country starts putting out banging club tracks. Micolo is a city in Angoloa.
Also check out video from the ((Berlin Karnival))

A week later I was DJ-ing it, mixed with techno, grime and dubstep. It goes down well in Berlin, their bodies are already tuned to tempo; the intense portuguese rapping throws it over the top. and then... shit moves fast these days .... next thing I know this African dude is videotaping me and saying "we have to talk!". Its the amazing Calixte, though I prefer to spell it Calyx and pretend that he was named after an Aphex Twin track. More likely Aphex named the track after him.

He's from the Ivory Coast, grew up in Paris, then Brussels and lives now in Oslo. Makes perfect sense really. We both like early Swans. He's about 10 times friendlier than the whole population of Berlin combined.

Calyx is making a documentary about Grime and Dubstep (<-check the myspace page), to be followed by one on Kuduro. He's already interviewed Skream, Kode 9 et al. for the Grimestep one. Now he's flown down to Lisbon to interview Angolan expats and he'll go to Angola sometime after that. (update: the docu never got finished unfortunately)

Grimestep & Kuduro party and DVD-release party by calyx and the sick girls ! In berlin.

By the way, Maga Bo is now back from Zanzibar where he recorded with tons of musicians, vocalists and MCs. Go catch up on his blog, lots of amazing stories and insight. I have always loved this idea of traveling with a portable laptop studio and collaborating with people you meet. Maga is highly qualified, thoroughly knowing the current music styles and classic traditions in the areas he's visited.

update 2009: since I posted this back in 2006 this page has gotten a lot of traffic.

I would direct you to the really cool kuduro.podomatic.com which posts amazing tracks and tells the history and little details about the music. Also English translations of choruses, pictures of life in Luanda. Highly recommended.

I could put some more links up here, but that site is the best jumping off place to explore the music. bigup Toke !


  1. 1 Toke says...

    Hello Deutschland!
    Das ist Toke aus Luanda.
    Good kuduro reflections!
    Please take a look at new kuduro site, direct from Angola, kuduro homeland at:

    http://kuduro.podomatic.com/

    Danke!
    Schuss
    Toke
    Luanda-Angola

  2. 2 kuduronow says...

    Sweet! Buraka som Sistema and Os Lambas are two really great groups. I've been collecting kuduro videos over at http://www.kuduro.wordpress.com/

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