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Track-by-Track: Branko Presents ‘Enchufada Na Zona’

Branko‘s contribution to global club music over the last decade remains unmatched. A founding member and creative force behind legendary Portuguese group Buraka Som Sistema, Branko now heads up the Enchufada label that brought Lisbon’s ‘zouk bass’ to the world via the 2014 We Call It Zouk Bass compilation and one of the most exciting Boiler Rooms to date.

His debut solo album, ATLASwas an intercontinental journey through the sounds of hyper-localised scenes, a quest he further fulfils with Enchufada’s latest release, Enchufada Na Zona. A 14-track compilation, the project offers a borderless view of the club music landscape, spotlighting a host of producers from Portugal, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa and the UK, born out of the worlds of house, Gqom, afrobeats and more.

With exclusive new tracks from Lorenzo BITW, rising UK-based star Poté, Lisbon producers Rastronaut and KKing Kong, Enchufada Na Zona represents the artists who have been staples in Branko’s DJ sets for the last 12 months, with him stating that “Maybe now more than ever, the idea of celebrating connections and diversity feels like the only thing people should be making music about”.

In celebration of the release, we asked Branko to share the process behind each track, detailing how he discovered and came to work with the broad range of artists who make Enchufada Na Zona. Check below and head over to High Snobiety for a full album stream ahead of its release.

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1. Lorenzo BITW – 27 (feat. raHHH)

We’ve been in touch with Lorenzo for a while exchanging music back and forth, he featured on a song on Mina’s latest Sentah EP on Enchufada and overall his music sounds really original, with a different texture to everything else out there, and that’s always intriguing for me. A lot of people I’ve played the compilation to said this is their favourite track.

2. Populous – Umi

I haven’t exactly been able to pin down why, but there’s definitely a really interesting wave of global minded Italian producers right now that I always keep an eye on and Populous is definitely one of them. I’ve been following his music for ages and when he lived in Lisbon last year we ended up connecting a couple of times. Check out his brand new album ‘Azulejos’ as well.

3. Mina – Sentah (feat. Bryte)

Mina has been apart of the Enchufada family for a while. I love how hard-working and focused she is. She’s always on the move and coming up with ideas and that’s just really inspiring. Even though we very recently released Sentah with the awesome Ghanian MC Bryte (that you might remember from the ’I Like Your Girlfriend’ track from a couple of years ago), this was still my favourite song of hers so there was no way I wasn’t gonna include it on the compilation.

4. Badsista & Tap – Na Madruga (Branko Edit)

I’ve played this edit I did of Badsista & Tap track ‘Na Madruga’ at literally every show since I made it. The energy on the original track was just magical and all I had to do was take it a step further than its original trap drum pattern. I’ve went from semi empty dance floors to semi mosh pits in the 3 minute length of this track.

5. Kking Kong – Drenas

Kking Kong is just the most inspiring producer out there right now. I’ve been following him since he first started making music and it’s awesome to see how much he’s grown and evolved. He was probably the first person I emailed when me and Rastronaut decided that we were going to move forward with the compilation. I didn’t even care about what he was going to send because I knew it would be good. When I actually heard it, it was even better. Standard! Lisbon style!

6. DZgot – Bout Konpa (Branko Edit)

I discovered this track by Haitian duo DZ on Spotify one day and got instantly hooked. The guitar riff and the vibe were just perfect. I immediately knew I had to flip it a little for it to be able to fit it better in my set and it was one of those studio sessions where I was done in literally 2 hours, because everything was there already. The name of the track also led me into investigating a bit more about Compas or Kompa, the classic Haitian genre that I didn’t know a lot about.

7. Gamboa Beatz – Malditas Melodias

Malditas Melodias means something like cursed melodies and the song actually has a pretty dope cursed melody! I found Gamboa Beatz while randomly browsing for afro house tunes on soundcloud and this track immediately caught my attention because of the way that he flipped the sample with the afro house beat. I met Gamboa in Paris, where he now lives, a couple weeks ago and he’s really young and talented. Can’t wait to hear more from him.

8. Dengue Dengue Dengue – Guarida (feat. Sara Van) [Branko Remix]

I’ve wanted to do a remix of this Dengue track ever since I heard the original. I love how powerful the vocals are and how timeless the whole song sounds, even though it’s an electronic record. I think that’s a very rare things these days. My only intention was to approach the track from a faster bpm perspective while trying to not ruin the original vibe. But that proved to be really hard, I had the stems for ages and didn’t touch them, but one day I just ended up picking them up and finishing the whole remix in like 3 or 4 hours while on a flight. I guess I just had to wait for the right time.

9. Sansai – Do Banque

Initially I had a different version of this track and I was obsessed about closing all my sets with it. It just had the perfect vibe to leave everyone with a smile! So it made proper sense for me to ask Sansai if they wanted to be a part of this compilation I was putting together around what a Branko set is, and they delivered this great new updated version that blew my mind!

10. Rastronaut – Azinhaga

Me and Astronaut basically decide and work on everything Enchufada label-related together which unfortunately doesn’t really leave out a lot of time for studio work I guess. But when he does end up in the studio, it’s pretty clear that it will make it’s way to my Serato crates and this track was no exception. I’m pretty sure that this semi techno approach to Global Club Music is going to go a long way, especially considering how great a DJ he is.

11. Jowaa – Banku Dade

Jowaa tracks kept coming up on my soundcloud feed before I even knew who/what it was and they always had something really dope about them. A couple of weeks later and I was in a flight to Accra for a bunch of other reasons and ended up using some of my time as an excuse to meet up with Gafacci, who’s the main producer behind the project and Bbrave at the Akwaaba label studios. It’s fresh and important, so I had to support!

12. Batuk – Força Força (Branko Edit)

Batuk are a group that bring together South African artists Spoek Mathambo, Aero Manyelo and Manteiga. I’ve been connected to Spoek Mathambo since the early Buraka days, when we were all coming up and started speaking to Aero Manyelo around the time he released music on Sound Pellegrino. The group sort of embraced everything I loved about them and we ended up inviting them to play at “Globaile”, our festival in Lisbon where they did a great show. Força Força was my favourite track on the album and I really wanted to play it out, so I ended up tweaking it a bit in order to do so, and this is the result.

13. Dotorado Pro – Vibes

Dotard Pro is a star! There’s no way we could do an Enchufada compilation that didn’t have his touch on it. Me and him kept emailing music back and forth and Vibes was just a really strong track that fit perfectly with the spirit of the group of songs I wanted to put together.

14. Poté – For the cause

I love how much Poté is becoming a full on artist right now and creating his own unique space. This track sort of showcases exactly that as well but with an instrumental approach. I loved it when he sent it to me, but I didn’t have an idea about what would be the best way to put it out. So as soon as the compilation idea came to mind this was one of the first tracks I remembered. I also play a lot of Poté tracks on my sets, so it was a really cool way of also having him present here.

Tracklist: 

1. Lorenzo BITW – 27 (ft. rAHHH)
2. Populous – Umi
3. Mina – Sentah (ft. Bryte)
4. BadSista & Tap – Na Madruga (Branko Edit)
5. KKing Kong – Drenas
6. DZgot – Bout Konpa (Branko Edit)
7. Gamboa Beatz – Malditas Melodias
8. Dengue Dengue Dengue – Guarida (Branko Edit)
9. Sansai – Do Banque
10. Rastronaut – Azinhaga
11. Jowaa – Banku Dade
12. Batuk – Força Força (Branko Edit)
13.Dotorado Pro – Vibes
14. Poté – For The Cause

Featured image: Natasha Cabral

Enchufada Na Zona is out July 7 on Enchufada. Pre-order it here