Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Batida: Batida [Soundway, 2012]
Lisbon-based, Angola-born DJ-beatmaker Pedro Coquenao had made a project of melding bassy modern electrobeats with the older Angolan pop that, just ask Angola-born Sam Mangwana, is close kin to the older pop generated in Kinshasa 350 miles north. So my first thought was soukous update. But in fact guitars are sparse. Instead Coquenao updates kudoro, tr. "hard-ass," an Angolan electro that pushes the beats way forward the way soca does in Trinidad. Because his tastes in this dance music run melodic, however, the update is retro-nuevo in flavor. And his thing for strong lyrics makes a difference vocally and texturally whether you know the language or not. A-