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Global Music Column – September

DJ Znobia: Inventor Vol 1

In the late 90s, dancer Sebastião Lopes was experimenting with the production software FruityLoops in his hometown of Luanda, Angola. Wanting to create harder, faster music to move to, he sped up the clattering folk rhythms of semba and kilapanga with layered synthesisers and techno-influenced drum production, creating a fresh sound that blended US dance music with the Angolan drumming tradition.

It turned out he had independently arrived at kuduro, which had already been bubbling through speakers since the late 80s thanks to the work of producers such as Tony Amado. Kuduro (meaning “hard ass”) provided the soundtrack for young Angolans during the country’s civil war. Lopes, under his moniker DJ Znobia, was prolific and crossed over internationally in 2008 thanks to the track Sound of Kuduro, a collaboration with Portuguese group Buraka Som Sistema and rapper MIA.

Read the review in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 15/09/23]

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