Arts Desk

Don’t Be Bored: Buraka Som Sistema at U Street Music Hall

There’s far more to electronic dance music than the stuff heard at megaraves in Berlin. The Portugal-based Buraka Som Sistema melds all styles of dance music from the world’s depressed urban centers, sampling from techno, rap, baile funk, dubstep, Angolan kuduro, and beyond. Hailing from Buraca, a Lisbon suburb with a large immigrant population, the group includes rapper/producer Conductor (a Cuban raised in Angola), vocalist Kalaf Angelo (from Angola), DJ/producer J-Wow (from Portugal), percussionist/producer DJ Riot (from Portugal), and various guest MCs and dancers. On its albums, Buraka Som Sistema jettisons most acoustic elements in favor of a laptop approach. M.I.A. guested on its debut LP, Black Diamond, and helped establish the band’s M.O.: chanted vocals over frenetic beats and blings. On its second album, 2011’s Komba, the title track celebrates the dead with a bit of church organ; “Candonga” plays with Afro-Cuban percussion and sirens. Be ready for even more stimulus overload tonight: They might bring water guns. 7 p.m. with Willy Joy at U Street Music Hall. $15. (Steve Kiviat)

BOOKS

Tonight's Best Music Writing 2011 event at Politics & Prose rounds up a couple familiar faces, including Washington Post music critic Chris Richards and former City Paper staff writer/current Huffington Post reporter Jason Cherkis. 7 p.m. Free.

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