João Barbosa, alias Branko, is the Vasco da Gama of the DJ scene. He travels the world with his record box, sniffing out musical subcultures, which he then imports into the clubs and his own material. He gave the African house genre kuduro truly global exposure, thanks to the success of his electro band Buraka Som Sistema, with whom he received an MTV Europe Music Award in 2008. Here, the 31-year-old from Portugal reveals the fruits of his recent cross-planet adventures.
Pocz & Pacheko
“I recently went to Venezuela to find out more about a music movement called tuki, which all the kids there are into. It sounds like tropical techno-hardcore -- electronic and fast. It began years ago when two local DJs attempted to copy Technotronic’s classic track ‘Pump Up the Jam’ and instead they accidentally invented this new genre.”
“In South Africa right now it’s all about deep house from artists like Black Coffee, but further north in Angola, young producers imitate the style with versions that sound a lot rougher, more intricate. This is my favorite track, because it’s got the best lead synth in the world and it shares its name with the genre: afro house.”
Branko feat. Roses Gabor
“This track is on my new mixtape, Drums Slums & Hums, which you can download from my website [www.enchufada.com/branko]. Most people hear my music in clubs, but with my mixtapes, I want to do songs which would also work in headphones. This one also introduces one of London’s most talented singers, Roses Gabor.”
Buraka Som Sistema
“Zouk is a style of music from the Antilles that turned up in Europe in the ’80s but is now all but forgotten in the current underground club scene. The rhythmic patterns are very interesting; the dragging tempo is so hypnotic. With Buraka Som Sistema, we’re doing a new take on zouk and beefing it up with bass-heavy sounds.”
“Yadi is one of the best vocalists in music right now -- she’s going to be huge. On the one hand, she’s a young Londoner who sounds very pop, but on the other she gathers all these weird instruments and influences from Algeria, where her father is from. We’re currently working on a song with her, which is very exciting.”
Check out the July 2013 issue of Red Bulletin magazine (on newsstands June 11) for more articles. To read the magazine on your iPad, download the Red Bulletin iPad app. Follow Red Bulletin on Twitter for more.