Cocktail kuduro? Boutique bass music? Surfacing on the global musical map about a decade and a half ago, kuduro is Angola’s African concurrence to Brazil’s rambunctious and entirely unsubtle funk carioca, likewise Lusophone and of course, rapid-fire and impertinent. Based in Krakow, Poland, the duo Lua Preta are doing an excellent job of guiding kuduro (and adjacent African grooves) into a more mature and congenial iteration. This one’s for the grown-ups in the room.
On the microphone is Supa Gia G, an Angolan transplant whose delivery in finely elocuted Portuguese is cool, confident, and solid in its certainty. Polish producer Mentalcut’s tracks are comfortably cushioned, patiently paced, and crafted with enough character to be distinctive, one from the next.
The playful cadence of opener “Sente Batida” contrasts with Gia G’s firm and authoritative chant, while “Vim Para Vencer”, marked by some verses from South African rapper Robin Thirdfloor, proceeds smoothly. There’s a bit more kick to the instrumental “Baile Lotus”, with its peaked flute lick, and “Drena”, with its brawny brass refrain. The rubbery synth line of “Ao Som Dos Homens” contributes to making it the strongest track of the seven – if one has to choose, because there’s really no disappointment here.