Back in 2006 when four buddies got together to play music at a small club in the center of Lisbon, little did they know they would end up becoming part of a very select group of international bands involved in the process of re-shaping “World Music” — making it the coolest it has ever been. João Barbosa (J-Wow) and Rui Pité (Riot) met while attending high school in Amadora, a city in the outskirts of Lisbon. They were in a band for a while, but quickly got sick of rehearsals and crappy concerts. Instead they picked up a second-hand sampler, a computer and locked themselves in an attic making beats.
Together they started collaborating with several artists from the Lisbon music scene, where they bumped into Kalaf Angelo. The encounter with Andro Carvalho (Conductor) took place a little before they set their minds on Kuduro — the dance music genre that was taking the ghettos of Luanda by storm and spreading to African clubs in Lisbon. Together, the four started editing and remixing Kuduro instrumentals from artists like DJ Znobia, DJ Du Marcel and DJ Jesus, to play at their then new monthly residence at Club Mercado. The audience, a mixed crowd of youngsters (that had never stepped into an african club), had the chance to experience those songs in a club for the frst time – they literally went mad, it was all new, fresh and raw.. Songs like Yah! and Sem Makas became local bangers which only regulars knew about. It was like a secret reunion, the perfect club, in the perfect city at the right moment. After a few months Club Mercado got shut down, but a strong demand for the nights continued, and that spawned the decision to form the band and start touring. They named the band Buraka Som Sistema after Buraca, one of Amadora’s eleven parishes, the latter being Portugal’s 4th most populated city, and hometown to J-Wow and Riot. Buraca is however mostly known for the high number of African emigrants and a high crime rate.
The Band’s first release “From Buraka to the World” (2006), initially a limited edition of 700 copies, sold out in 1 week. It was released by Enchufada, the label created a couple of years before by João and Kalaf. Made out of random un-recycled boxes where every package was different, the EP caught the attention of Sony Music and in a matter of weeks there was a considerably bigger reissue out on the streets with a few extra songs.
Being on the road solidly for three years transformed Buraka from what was initially a producer’s idea into a fully-fedged band. Komba sounds like a band. An album ready to make thousands of people dance in festivals and clubs around the world, it takes the group further on their quest to fnd their own sound, pushing them away from diminishing labels like “Progressive Kuduro”. This evolution is what keeps them relevant in a music world always looking for the next big thing.
They’re not trying to impress anyone with the newest synthesizer patch or the new cool BPM of the season. They’re just having fun, making beats and having even more fun playing them out to people around the world, while living life as intensely as possible. Komba will be out in the fall of 2011, it is set to push Buraka back to the forefront of electronic music with their unique raw take on the global ghetto revolution.