In Angolan culture, life is celebrated at death. This is a ritual called komba, and it takes place seven days after a corpse has been buried. Instead of shedding tears of sorrow, the deceased's friends and family dance wildly into the night, drink heavily, and eat the dead one's favorite food. In the music world, however, Komba is the clever name of eclectic Portuguese electro crew Buraka Som Sistema's latest record. "The Buraka sound is a mix of electronic ghetto genres, from reggaeton to moombahton, kizomba to grime, dirty south to dubstep," the group explained during an interview with Red Bull magazine late last year. "We're just electronic music producers making whatever comes to our mind; we don't get stuck on any genre." On Komba, for example, layers of Euro-house and African rhythm are stacked alongside poppy EDM bleep-bloops and weeble-wobbles. It's that very complexity that earned Buraka's album an editor's pick from the Washington Post, which cited the band's "synthesizer burbling, party chants, and video-game-like sound effects," adding, "Buraka Som Sistema has translated [the kuduro progressivo genre] into seven top-40 singles in Portugal, and that success has forced the group to evolve from studio- and club-based beat makers into a real band that can play big festivals." Of course, though, Buraka is just as good at midsize music venues such as Grand Central.
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