Sherbro Son

What Move You?

For those who didn’t catch it at Ghettobassquake:


Kuduromatic put up a song with rhythms, melodies, and vocal stylings that sound to me like Angolans being influenced by West African Hiplife, Coupe Decale or Zouglou. Perhaps it’s a nod to Congolese Soukous, the name Langa Langa recalling my favorite Soukous group Zaiko Langa Langa.

DJ Papi Chulo and Alidjuma-Langa Langa

Maybe I’m wrong about that, and this is purely Angolan, but I picture in my head someone in Angola listening at a distance to a song from a place they’ve never been and being influenced enough to try to replicate that with their own musical dialect. It excites me to think that the rhythms and understanding would come naturally in this trans-national musical conversation.

I grew up within earshot of mid-nineties Chicago, Dance Mania’s heyday. I didn’t know what the songs were that made their way into radio DJ sets and middle school dance parties alongside songs from Luke, Tag Team, or perhaps Quad City DJ’s. I more remember the sex education I received from watching my schoolmates dance. I fondly recall one “hip hop” party where the kids were freaking to Underworld.

At family parties I danced to music from far away places like Trinidad, The Congo and Cameroon.

Kuduro, for me, mixes the family party rhythm, with the middle school party attitude. A message of understanding from Africa.

A friend told me the other day, “your ancestors are talking to you.”

Maybe they’re just mediating the conversations I have with other people.

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