Live Shots: Buraka Som Sistema at the Independent

Pub date August 3, 2012

How much space does a person need to dance? If you’ve been to a packed, over-sold massive EDM show lately, the answer could be zero, as being rooted in place and fist-pumpin’ seems to be all the rage. Really, though, if you’re at least going to move your feet then a little more room* is required.

Which is why I was relieved to find that the Independent, while crowded, wasn’t packed to the walls last night. Because Portugal’s Buraka Som Sistema likes to get down in a very specific way. In that way that Tribe liked to get down – devoted to the art of moving butts.

“If there’s one thing we like to do,” Kalaf Ângelo said during a brief pause, “we like to make people concentrate on the booty.” “No, not the booty,” fellow MC Andro Carvalho corrected, “the ass.” Accepting this distinction, Kalaf paraphrased Parliament: “Free your fucking mind and your ass will follow.”

The techno/kuduro sounds of Buraka Som Sistema may not have been instantly familiar – aside from momentary Lil’ Wayne samples – but following along was easy, as the trio at the front of the stage brought a level of hype (they were clearly having a good time) that was hard to resist.

Copping the dance moves, though, particularly attempting to duplicate the intense MC Karla Rodrigues – who at one point had sort of an extended ass shaking solo – was probably best left to the more experienced dancers with a generous amount of space.**

*A plot of floor with a diameter of 1.6 times the length of your shoulders is the minimum, if you want to be all specific about it.
** Seriously. You don’t want to kick someone in the face just because you really like the beat.