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Portuguese kuduro heroes Buraka Som Sistema just released their exciting documentary movie “Off The Beaten Track” which shows us what Buraka is all about. The documentary takes us on a rollercoaster of a ride around the world that started in Lisbon back in 2006. Discobelle went to London for a chat with the one of the producers in the group – Joao Barbosa AKA Branko.

Who came up with the idea for the documentary? Was it something that you planned?

It was something we had on our minds for a long time. it kept evolving and turning into different things. But a meeting with our friend and director Joao Pedro Moreira about 2 years ago sort of became the kick off for the project and what the movie is today. So i guess it’s was a collective idea :)

You mention in the beginning of the documentary that Buraka Som Sistema started as an accident, do you want to evolve on that?

We made a bunch of edits and quick remixes from Kuduro songs and we decided to start a night using that as the main theme. 4 months later and this night was evolving like nothing else we had worked on before, in terms of audience and music production. Everything just made so much sense, i guess we didn’t even know why. So, for 4 guys super focused on production, songwriting, dj’ing and generically messing around with all sort of genres, what started off as an exercise quickly became our main focus.

During the documentary you discuss the status of Buraka as unstoppable machine when it comes to live performances, what you you think is more important; playing live or releasing music?

One feeds the other, i don’t think they would exist by themselves.. unless your on a cover or tribute band.

So i can’t really talk about importance levels. But from an outside of the portuguese speaking world point of view, maybe because 80% of our songs are in portuguese, i guess we end up connecting more with people in a show.

Apart from that, i think that one of the things that is also super important for us is clubs, they’ve always been our source of inspiration and our way of checking if something is sounding right or not, weather we’re playing the songs or someone else is and we’re just checking for reactions.

How do you juggle your solo project Branko with that of Buraka Som Sistema, seeing as you seem to be touring alot?

Things have been evolving together for a while, so i’m used to do it all at the same time. I think that the only time i actually had to focus for a while and prioritize Branko was when i was finishing my album/mixtape ‘Drums, Slums and Hums’. Monstly because it was the first long body of work i was putting out there and i wanted it to sound right, so i got immersed in it for a couple of months.

What is the future for Buraka Som Sistema?

Buraka is gonna keep on being Buraka… We’re gonna keep on trying to push some sort of a cultural angle on dance music that a lot of people totally forget exists and we’re gonna keep on writing music, putting it out there one way or the other and if people are happy with it we’ll keep playing shows. We just hope tht with this documentary people will be able to understand our vision a bit better and relate to our mission.

This documentary done in cooperation with Red Bull Music Academy showcases the creative process of the unstoppable force that is known as Portuguese kuduro group Buraka Som Sistema, it doesn’t just give us a glimpse into life on the road but manages to show the different influences and personalities of the group and how they interact with eachother and their audience. It gives us footage from back when Buraka Som Sistema started back in 2006 continuing towards recent live shows and experiences along the line.

Buraka Som Sistema announced earlier this week that they’re about to premiere their Red Bull Music Academy-supported documentary “Off The Beaten Track” The documentary was filmed during the course of a year in almost every continent and features the likes of Diplo, M.I.A., Santigold and Skream. The documentary tells the incredible story of four unlikely musicians, as they travel to Luanda, Caracas, London and the Lisbon suburb of Amadora to show how these cities, as well as their sounds, people, colours and movement helped to create the phenomenon that is Buraka Som Sistema. With the full support of Red Bull Music Academy and the talented illustration work of artist Kate Moross, Lisbon’s most unlikely band ventured on a trip around the world and back to the studio, as they bring their experiences home to start laying down the first beats of the next Buraka album in London.

Check out the video teasers for the documentary over at the Off The Beaten Track website.

“BSS Full Experience” tour dates

10th October – Village Underground, London
15th October – Lido, Berlin
17th October – Le Maroquenerie, Paris
18th October – ADE, Amsterdam (separate screening)
19th October – Depot, Leuven (Belgium)