Buraka Som Sistema

Fun Fun Fun Fest Stages
Photo by John Anderson

Buraka Som Sistema

Waterloo Park, Nov. 8

"Ladies and gentleman, now we're gonna take you to fucking Africa," shouted Andro Carvalho, the Cuban-born, Angola-raised MC of Buraka Som Sistema. The motherland that the Portugal-based ghetto-technicians transport listeners to is the Angolan underground, miles removed from the latest Putumayo compilation for sale at Starbucks. The group – DJ, drummer, percussionist, and three MCs – unleashed a fury of sinister skull-rattling beats and swirling sirens known as kuduro, a Lisbon-by-way-of-Luanda dance craze every bit as brash as Brazil's baile funk. If you knew the genre before witnessing Buraka Som Sistema, you're either an ethnomusicologist or a liar. Although taking the stage more than 30 minutes late for an abbreviated set, BSS thumped live on the global sound clash of 2008's Black Diamond. The M.I.A.-assisted "Sound of Kuduro" primed the uninitiated, while the pounding rhythms of "Kalemba (Wegue Wegue)" required no translation. Neither did the posterior acrobatics of the lone female MC, decked in glowing neon lipstick and waist-high silver hot pants (did we mention "kuduro" translates to "hard ass"). For an encore, the band blasted the crowd with water cannons, a wholly superfluous act given the wet weather.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Entanglement (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, Dec. 13, 2019

Levitation Album Reviews
Dallas Acid
The Spiral Arm (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, Nov. 8, 2019

More by Thomas Fawcett
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
Dallas Acid blows some bubbles, KUTX remembers the Armadillo, and more music for the moment

Aug. 14, 2020

Colombian Folkloric Post-Punks Nemegata Drop Four-Star Debut
Colombian Folkloric Post-Punks Nemegata Drop Four-Star Debut
Local trio finds the fire of the jaguar

July 3, 2020


Buraka Som Sistema

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle