Saturday, 24 August 2013

ZOUK BASS primer with DJ UMB for Boing Boing

My latest piece for Boing Boing is online now, though credit where it's due, most of the writing and explaining is by DJ Umb of the wicked Generation bass label and blog. It's an introduction to the relatively new genre Zouk Bass, which is a kind-of relation of Moombahton (though ZB is originally from Angola, rather than the Caribbean like Moombahton, and other subtle differences). Anyway, Umb can explain this much better than I ever could (and Generation Bass are also giving away two compilations of the stuff to judge for yourself):

What exactly is "Zouk Bass"?

It's a sound, the roots of which derive from Africa and the Caribbean, and which has been updated with modern Electronic Club/Bass sounds (which sounds nothing much like traditional "Zouk", really.)

Where and when did this genre originate?

I'm not even sure whether it is a fully-fledged "genre" yet, maybe it is a sub-genre or just a new name for a scene. Buraka Som Sistema coined the term during a Boiler Room DJ set in February 2013, so it's barely 6 months old. They were playing some awesome tunes that many of us had not heard before and their MC, Kalaf, was shouting "Zouk Bass" all over them and saying it was "a brand new sound". That's how it started, and a lot of people in the Transnational Bass scene were going nuts about this sound. There was no track list for the set and people were desperate for the track ID's for the first 15-20 minutes because the sound was dope and fresh! Eventually, some of the tracks and artists were discovered from comments left on the Boiler Room site. It was also discovered that some of the featured tracks already had a name for a pre-existing genre that pre-dated Zouk Bass. It was called Tarraxinha or Tarraxo and came from Angola.

Wait, so Zouk Bass isn't really "zouk bass", it is Tarraxinha? What is Tarraxinha?

Many didn't know what Tarraxinha was and had never heard of it, but some of us did know. Generation Bass knew a little about it and had been blogging some of it since 2009. However, we did so very rarely and without actually knowing too much, because you couldn't find enough of this music online or anywhere else and there was no information about it either. Plus it was kind of overlooked and slept on in favour of the public's greater interest in Kuduro, which incidentally Buraka were also involved in bringing to the world's attention.
Read the whole article on Boing Boing.  

And don't forget to grab the two comps on Generation Bass:

ZOUK BASS Volume 1
ZOUK BASS Volume 2

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