The Angolan tracks are labeled as KuBass on the Kuduro Files music blog but elsewhere I have seen similar beats called Tarrachinha, with various different spellings. Tarrachinha must just mean something like “slow jam” because it also brings up masses of syrupy love songs if you google it. And just to make things more confusing, when I interviewed Znobia he used KuBass as a term to describe the housier version of kuduro that Buraka Som Sistema and other Lisbon DJs play. So there you go. I feel fully vindicated for making up shit like Afrohall and my general tendency to create endless neologisms for this column because, if it isn’t obvious by now THESE GENRES ARE NOT GOING TO NAME THEMSELVES PEOPLE.
Anyway, whatever you call it, it is definitely a distinctive thing unto itself and the major tropes seem to be: using auto-tune software to rap or sing in a scary high pitched poltergeist-voice, marimbas, weird aggro-electronic noises, remixing commercial hip-hop tracks like 50 Cent’s “Outta Control” that sound like they were taped off cable TV with a contact mic and then overdubbed with ridiculously, crystal clear percussion and distorted bass in a reggaeton kind of marching pattern. In other words, I love it and it really makes you realize that if reggaeton dudes came as off the wall original on an album track as Angolans do for a bootleg refix, Daddy Yankee might still be on top of the world instead of slumming for a McCain endorsement (just saying).