God, you guys, sometimes I just feel bad for the poor creepy junk-showing elf king played by David Bowie in Labyrinth, ya know? All he really wanted to do was, “dance, magic dance/jump, magic jump,” but apparently in the goblin-infested underworld circa 1986, feel-good party jams just weren’t in abundance. Imagine: tiny LMFAO-lovin’ gremlins and shit, all running around, making fun of your too-skinny jeans (I’m trying to update this for 2012, so you YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY can all understand) and stifling your desire to boogie down. That was creepy junk-showing elf king David Bowie’s everyday life. Stuck having to sing his own jams because no one was making innovative, Angolan-influenced electronic dance music. Stuck with an inappropriate obsession with a teenage Jennifer Connelly. That could be all of our lives if not for the magic of new Soundway Records recording artist Batida!
If you haven’t yet jumped aboard the Batida train, well get out your suitcase and throw in some dancin’ shoes. In fact, pack two pairs, because these tracks are hot. Batida has been named one of Gilles Peterson’s “Hot for 2012” picks, and has appeared on Buraka Som Sistema’s FabricLive 49 comp. A project by Angolan/Portugese DJ Mpula a.k.a. Pedro Coquenão, Batida blends 1970s Angolan kudoro and semba sounds with contemporary dance beats. The self-titled debut drops March 27, and is the first contemporary release for Soundway, a label known for its obscure, vintage releases like Ghana Special and The Sound of Siam. Batida, whose “Algeria” video makes nice use of archival footage of a 70s-era Carnival of Luanda in Angola, and whose live performances feature dancers, DJs, MCs, Angolan visuals, and drummers, is a fella with one foot in the past and one hand on the turntables of today. Just like Soundway. Just like that immortal, toe-tappin’ elf king.
• Batida: http://www.soundwayrecords.com/catalogue/batida.html
• Soundway: http://www.soundwayrecords.com