Batida - Batida
Batida – Batida ( Soundway) Stepping away from his telemarketing job, Miles Cleret found himself in Ghana where his mind was blown by a local DJ spinning some obscure 70’s era African funk, soul and blues. That was 10 years and 25 albums of unearthed treasures later; sounds that may have been reclaimed by the desert or jungle where they spun in relative obscurity to the rest of the world. Soundway Records are a remarkable resource for global music fans confident enough in their appreciation for the current state of the idiom to time travel back through scratchy, thin analogue recordings to mine buried inspiration. Their catalogue covers a lot of subtropical ground from Benin to Colombia. And, not surprisingly, new music is now emerging on the label from creative minds who have returned to the present day with new ways to share these classic grooves. Angolan/Portuguese DJ Mpula aka Pedro Coquenão represents the label’s first step in a new direction that not only merges electronics with vintage grooves, it actually opens a portal where the past and present meld with future possibility. His debut project called Batida, samples the obscure sounds of Angolan dance band music and anchors it in the modern subsonics of dubstep and electrothrash. Itchy slightly off tune guitar skanks and tubby tape-saturated bass lines float through a much deeper digital playground that sits well in a contemporary mix. Of course, the cynic is right in thinking that nothing is entirely new in music anymore. Batida, if only in name alone, harkens back 30 years in Angola. It’s the polite name given in the 80’s to a blending of African percussion and Caribbean soca. An early experimental off shoot, batida developed into kuduro music, regional speak for ‘hardass’, a style similar to dancehall. While it has no traditional roots in Angolan culture, it’s at the heart of the vibe DJ Mpula has created on this disc. Back at Soundway, they envision Batida as a launching point for a string of new/old releases. I can hardly wait to hear what they dig up and brush off next.