Outsourced Analysis #745639: Kwaito Resonance Reflex

On 8/2/07, Sonjah Stanley-Niaah, Dr wrote:

And this one, check this out.. I am interested in your analysis of the dance and music…


Sonjah Stanley Niaah, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Cultural Studies
University of the West Indies, Mona Campus
Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference 2008: www.crossroads2008.org
Wadabagei: www.lexingtonbooks.com/Journals/wadabagei/Index.shtml

To which I replied:

This one’s (more) interesting (to me right now)! Whereas the last one you sent (which I blogged back in April) seems fairly typical to me in terms of kwaito musical style and perhaps dance style (though it’s obviously quite well choreographed, and to be honest I know far less about kwaito dance), this one seems rather atypical in a number of ways. Musically, it reminds me a lot more of kuduro (that style from Angola I was telling you about) and even Chicago Juke (which a commenter notes as well); you might hear it as similar to soca, which also has some musical overlap with this particular track.

It’s only the drum track that suggests that to me, however; the singing seems a lot more characteristically South African (and perhaps the melodic/keyboard elements, though I’m not sure). Some of the group dancing reminds me of the wedding video — looks like similar moves/choreography, which suggests (to me) that that’s closer to kwaito style. Some of the moves, though, especially the solo dancing, seem to me to perhaps be inspired by Jamaican dances (such as the butterfly-ish stuff at around 3:30). Lots of dance styles being drawn upon here, it seems. Around 4:15 it looks to me like some classic breakdance / robot / bboy stuff — if with a little more bounce in it (those “inverting” feet [there’s probably a better term — my dance vocab is rather impoverished]). Finally, toward the end (around 4:36) there’s some back-to-front grinding that could easily pass for perreo, or just good ol’ win(d)in’, freakin’, jukin’, you-name-it. Great montage! (But I really don’t know what to make of that whole laborer / overseer series of scenes, esp the dancing-in-the-fields denouement.)