4.02.2013

Afternoon Afrobeat (#54): 'Txilar' by PDK


Yes, I am jumping on the Kuduro bandwagon. If you haven't yet heard of it, Angola's hottest dance and music craze right now is called Kuduro. If you haven't been aware, Kuduro has been appearing in the news a lot lately, and was most recently highlighted on NPR.


What is Kuduro?
Translated from Angolan Portuguese and Kimbundu, Kuduro means 'Hard Ass'. It is both a genre of music and a type of dance that is between 130-150 beats per minute. In case you didn't know, that is really fast. Kuduro was made famous by Os Kurduristas. According to Os Kurdurista's, Kuduro is a form of cultural expression for Angola's new international and post-war generation. In case you doubt its popularity, Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. is even in on this craze:


Who are Os Kuduristas?
José Eduardo dos Santos is a well-known name throughout Africa - He is Angola's president and MPLA leader who has been ruling the diamond-rich nation for 32 years. Now what on Earth does he have to do with Kuduro? Well, dos Santos' son, Jose Eduardo Paulino dos Santos (aka Coréon Dú) is the lead member of Os Kurduristas. Yes, interesting indeed.


Why Kuduro?
Kuduro has its origins in the Angolan civil war. I'm going to quote NPR's article in order to best explain this:

“You can't separate its beginnings from politics...from this history of the civil war and the ways in which the violence of that war was played out very particularly on the bodies of young men, right? Young men were recruited both by the state and by the rebel forces to fight in the war. I think it's not actually a story of victimization. It's a story of triumph over bone-crushing conditions, essentially."


Choreographer Kanza says kuduro dance transforms these sorrows into something else. "What we do is like trying to have fun out of something that is really serious," he observes. "For example, in the time of war, people would imitate the crippled man walking — so, taking that movement of the crippled person into a movement of dance. Like coming from the dead!”

PDK
Os Kuduristas may be the most popular Kuduro group out there, but others are coming close. Pupilos do Kuduro (PDK) is a Kuduro group formed in 2007 and have since toured various countries in Europe. They are releasing a new album titled ‘Imparaveis' which is to be released soon.

Connect with Os Kuduristas: Twitter || Website || Facebook || SoundCloud

Connect with PDK: Facebook

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