BnB Review: Buraka Som Sistema – Komba

Buraka Som Sistema, the multicultural outfit that brought the kuduro sound to the masses, is set to deliver their sophomore album Komba on October 31st. According to the press info we were sent, “Komba is an Angolan religious ritual, celebrated seven days after someone passes away, where friends and relatives honour the deceased by drinking their favourite drinks, eating their favourite food, dancing and singing their favourite songs while sharing experiences and telling stories about their life. The irony that the best party of your life happens after you’re dead, and the idea that we should live every day as if it was our last one, sets the common thread for ‘Komba’.” Ah, the abstractism of musical concept, don’t you just love it?

(We Stay) Up All Night feat. Blaya & Roses Gabor by burakasomsistema

But what you really want to know is if this album’s worth your cash. It is. It has become the perfect follow up to the Portuguese band’s hot first album Black Diamond, while at the same time having become a canvas on which BSS explores the boundaries of electronic dance music, kuduro and world music in general to their fullest extent. The band’s trademarked ultra heavy basslines, chants & raps and heavy hitting drums are kept intact on every track, but the albums as a whole has become a far broader musical melting pot as compared to their already quite diverse debut. Album opener Eskeleto drops the bass in true BSS style, after which Komba delivers an exciting mixture of drums, African chants and electro house bleeping. Tracks such as the slightly hysterical but tremendously blazing (We Stay) Up All Night and the massive BSS-meets-The-Prodigy-sounding Lol & Pop have that edgy club vibe BSS is known for, while Macumba (co-produced by Mixhell) flirts with evil dubstep elements for a one-of-a-kind stomper of destructive proportions.

Hangover (BABABA) by burakasomsistema

Our verdict:
Komba has become an incredibly vivid (hee-hee) listening experience in the form of 12 highly prolific musical melt-downs. Each track is a fusion of various sound BSS gathered during their travels across the globe, with the album as a whole having become an impressive fusion of these culture elements. In every way, Komba has become a huge step forward for the band, and a must-have if you like your music edgy, raw, multicultural and inventive.

Rating: 8.5/10
Label: Enchufada
Release date: October 31st, 2011


1. Eskeleto feat. Afrikan Boy
2. Komba feat. Kaysha
3. Voodoo Love feat. Sara Tavares & Terry Lynn
4. Tira O Pe
5. (We Stay) Up All Night feat. Blaya & Roses Gabor
6. Hypnotized
7. LOL & POP feat. Blaya
8. Vem Curtir feat. Stereotyp
9. Candonga
10. Hangover (BaBaBa)
11. Macumba feat. Mixhell
12. Burakaton feat. Bomba Estereo (Bonus Track)

Buraka Som Sistema perform at London’s Heaven on 22nd November, tickets available here