The core of Buraka Som Sistema consists of producers Lil' John, Riot and Conductor and MC Kalaf, but group counts amongst its ranks an extended family of dancers and MCs from around the globe. Every face is a valued part of Buraka's limb-enslaving hybrid assault of native Angolan Kuduro and the roughest globe-scoured ghetto-funk riddims.
In just two years the group have released a slew of breakthrough singles, torched the blogosphere with their viral video "Sound Of Kuduro" featuring M.I.A., and wowed audiences in over 13 countries with the mesmerizing dance-driven spectacle at the heart of kuduro. No wonder Fader mag dubbed their live feast, "One of the most jaw-droppingly effusive club moments we've experienced."
All this would help earn them MTV Europe Award nominations, invitations into Damon Albarn's revered Africa Express project, and ensure that whether it be in high-brow broadsheet features or ram-jammed club scenes, Buraka look set to be one of 2009's most talked-about acts.
"...making people dance like hell, sweat like hell and scream like hell" Buraka Som Sistema
Now with their debut long-player, 'Black Diamond', finally about to drop, escalating infamy is set to erupt into worldwide domination. With powerful comrades in the likes of Diplo and Switch, and collaborators in Kano, M.I.A. and Hot Chip - to name but a few - they've become the driving heartbeat of the headline-grabbing global ghetto-funk revolution. Together they've destroyed dated preconceptions of world music, with cross-continental collisions responsible for many of the gnarliest club cuts in recent years.
In between globe-trotting trips exporting their unequivocal sound far and wide, the group set about work for their debut album for the fabric label. While Kalaf admits that their primary starting point is always, "making people dance like hell, sweat like hell and scream like hell," there's more to 'Black Diamond' than may meet the eye. The title is a reference to the inherent corruption in the oil and diamond businesses, subjects close to home, and one of various cultural dialogues that take place amongst their rowdy beats. Kuduro music itself came about as a response to Angola's tempestuous and uncertain social and political climates - recurring themes in the long-player. Present also is a message of hope, as Angola begins to move away from its dark political past. Indicative of the record's boundary-smashing appeal, it was recorded in a variety locations, from their native Portugal and Angola, to a variety of London studio hotspots.
Tracks like 'Skank & Move' with Kano roar with an unruly bass-quake only possible in the post-grime era. Baile kingpin Deize Tigrona brings the Brazilian nastiness funk carioca-style on 'Aqui Para Voces', nodding to BSS' South American allies, whilst Angolan scud-missile Pongolove is one of the various spitters to showcase the irresistibly stark, hypnotic charms of their trademark sound on 'Kalemba'. It's an album that?s as inclusive as it is fiercely driven and focused. Buraka have a mission completed. They've successfully taken one of planet earth's most exciting and previously underexposed dance phenomenons and rebirthed it with the ferocity and fun to capture the whole world's imagination. 'Black Diamond' is their manifesto, where's your vote?