The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

News

LISTEN: Batida's Debut Album
The Quietus , March 21st, 2012 09:43

Stream the debut album by Pedro Coquenão, under the name Batida, below, and read his own track-by-track

As we previously reported, Angolan/Portuguese DJ/producer Pedro Coquenão is set to release his debut album under the name Batida on 26th March. Released through the ever on-it Soundway Records, it marks Soundway's first foray into releasing contemporary artist albums - they've previously been known for their excellent compilations and archive releases. Mixing samples from 1970s Angolan music with the syncopated, synthetic rhythms of kuduro, Coquenão then sent his tracks out to MCs in Lisbon and Angola, who provided vocals.

In advance of its release next week, we're pleased to be able to offer a stream of the entire album. Listen via the embed below. While you're listening to the album, Coquenão has talked us through the album track-by-track - read his discussion of the record below.

Batida will also be appearing live in London on 20th April. Soundway celebrate their tenth anniversary this year. Kicking off this year's events to celebrate its decade of existence, they've announced a party to be held in that by-now-standard place: a 'secret East London warehouse location'. Entitled Dancing Time With Soundway: 10 Year Anniversary Party, it will feature Batida's debut London show, alongside Quantic DJing, Miles Cleret (Soundway) and Frankie Francis (Sofrito). Tickets are £15 and available here.

Says Coquenão of Batida:

All tracks are based on traditional rhythms from Angola, raw beats and real words.
Mixing the place where I was born with the place I grew up. The past meeting the present.



'Pronto Pra Batida' feat. MCK


I used to open every show with this track, where MCK says: "Today the sun has risen earlier, the day has begun, the rooster crowed at 4 AM, a reason to write poetry, I praise god for granting me a day longer, 6 in the morning i am ready for Batida (The beat)". The original lyric is from "Atrás do Prejuízo" by one of my favourite artists: MCK, a poet and probably the future president of Angola. 



'Alegria!'


The name of this track means "Joy". I chose to name it as such because it made me smile and dance while doing it. It´s the good twin of 'Bazuka'. In the sample you can hear: "I am going to dance, full of joy, the music of the crazy". Put simply, it’s a song that celebrates the simple and good things in life.

'Yumbala' feat. Circuito Feixado


For this track I worked with an artist called Sacerdote who has a studio called Circuito Feixado where he records Underground Rap and "Conscious Kuduro". I met Sacerdote in Luanda selling pirate CDs of MCK at the door of an MCK event. We struck up a friendship and after a while I challenged him to record some verses highlighting the history of Kuduro, but pointing in new directions. The result was this track where Sacerdote sings: "Kids pick up a chair and sit down. Kuduro is taking a different route. I don´t simply sing for fun but to contribute to this new generation. Don't open your mouth to sing in vain.”

'Tirei o Chapéu' feat. Ikonoklasta


I share my tastes on Kuduro with Luaty, my brother, aka Ikonoklasta. I like melodic Kuduro as opposed to just beats, especially the more traditionally derived ones and of course, lyrics driven. De Faia, Kalunga Mata and Bruno M are at the top of both our lists of favourite artists. The lyrics for this song were written and recorded recently over a flat beat, and I used a previous remix I did on Bras Firmino that matched the idea and Luaty´s flow. "Tirei o Chapéu" means "I took my hat off" which is a gesture of respect, being that this song pays homage to those young kuduro artists who, somehow, also inspired Luaty to venture into alternative rhythms to hip hop downtempo beats.

'Puxa' feat. Beat Laden


This one was born at Ground Zero, Beat Laden's studio where the record was finished, mixed and mastered. He was dancing like crazy on every rough track I played him, so I challenged him to take the lead and he came up with a few ideas - this was my favourite. A stand-out beat with a glitched sample from records I brought to the studio. We finished the track while dancing a Portuguese sort of Carnival dance called "Cabeçudos" (Big Headed Guys).

'Bazuka (Quem me Rusgou?)'

This was the blueprint for the record. A minimal beat, a traditional sample from a Carlos Lamartine track, using words from the testemony of an ex-soldier, included on "É Dreda Ser Angolano" (a sort of documentary I did with Ikonoklasta about a day in Luanda), putting Angolan leaders in question in a provocative way: "Is Dos Santos my mother?" - Dos Santos is the (too much) longlasting President of Angola. I had a sketch but was not sure about being able to finish it. I tested it on a soundsystem with friends around. Beat Laden was there, went crazy about it and offered his studio and friendship to help me. This track motivated and inspired me to do more.

'Tribalismo' feat. Circuito Feixado


I always wanted to make something you could dance to, but took you to a higher state of consciousness at the same time - like in a tribal ritual. I sampled a moment of a jam on an old recording I did and built a groove on top. The idea was that the beat could last forever with small elements being adedd along. Sacerdote drops some words about Sambizanga, a municpality of the troubled Angolan city, Luanda. Right in the end of the track, Beat Laden plays a crazy Moog lead that takes it to another level.

'Ka Heueh' feat. Ngongo


I challenged Birú, aka Ngongo, a poet from Lisbon, a descendant from Guinéa-Bissau and Angolan parents, to give words and build a personal mantra to "Makumba", an instrumental track I had. Ngongo didn’t fail and that track eventually became "Ka Heueh".

'Saudade' feat. Bob Da Rage Sense


Saudade is a Portuguese word that means, in a very melancholic way, to miss something. Many Portuguese refer to old Angola with "Saudade", the times before the war of independence, those associated with the colonialist period. Living in Portugal, I wanted to have the same feeling but about the independent Angola, from a perspective of a youngster who had to run from the Civil War in search of better life conditions. Bob Da Rage Sense, living in Lisbon, was the right MC for it. Between missing Angola and wishing to return, he complains about the lack of the essentials: bread, electricity and water.

'Cuka' feat. Ikonoklasta


It is the fictional story of an old maestro of the "Alcoholic Wako Kungo Orchestra", that only uses Cuca (National beer) cans and bottles as instruments. He keeps asking people not to drink as much as he does, because, in doing it, they numb themselves into oblivion, letting go unnoticed what is being done to the country by "them". Both main political parties get the finger pointed at: Mpla and Unita. In the end, like everyone that talks too much, the guy is shot. Not so fictional, actually. The MC is Ikonoklasta, my favourite Angolan artist and one of the most activist rappers in the country.


If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.