So, I found a tiny window of time in my busy schedule to do a little bit of very basic music journalism (btw I am not a music journalist) and I did some digging to find out what is this “Zouk Bass” they speak so highly of and this is what I found.
It’s by no means either accurate or in depth and my main source of knowledge has come from googling the word “TARRAXINHA”.
So Buraka called it “Zouk Bass…a new sound” and then the revolution started when people heard the now LEGENDARY DJ Kuimba track “Tarraxo Na Parede”.
So let’s start with the word “Zouk Bass”.
Well I am not sure why Buraka called it that but it seems pretty apt in some ways because it mentions “Zouk” which is pivotal to this whole thing.
Secondly, it uses the word “Bass” to denote that this is a new form and breed of “Zouk”, maybe an updated bassier electronic form.
Let me try to explain how it is all related to everything else.
It all goes back to this style of music, which is the pivotal component, the DNA.
Why is it pivotal, well because “Kizomba” derives partially from Zouk (Antilles) and Caribbean rhythms & Semba. Indeed, Kizomba is used for any type of music derived from Zouk, even if it’s not of Angolan origin.
Kizomba is a music and dance and comes from the linguistic expression Kimbundo, which means “party”.
Kizomba is also a dance of 3 different rhythms, The slow one (Tarraxinha) the intermediate (Kizomba) and the faster one (Semba).
Semba is traditional Angolan music and it came before Kizomba and influenced its birth.
Semba comes from the singular Masemba, meaning “a touchof the bellies”, a move that characterizes the Semba dance.
As I explained above this is a slow style of dance that comes from Kizomba.
According to this site Tarraxa means ‘nut bolt’ and Inha is the diminutive, so Tarraxinha is a ‘little nut bolt’. That’s the sexual innuendo with the word: little nut bolt wrapping around the screw!
So coming back to this.
In essence I think this term was used by Buraka to charcterize the commencement of Bass styles of the above kinds of music as they all go back to Zouk as their foundation but are now imbued with extra Bass.
You have to admit that there aren’t that many tracks that sound like that DJ Kuimba track around atm. That is why everybody has gone ape-shit over it because most have not heard anything like it before.
That’s also because it fuses Tarraxinha with Bass music and so in my opinion, it is “probably” a new innovation after all, albeit, in essence, Zouk & Tarraxinha, have existed for quite a while.
But I think they used “Zouk Bsss” to identify it as a new updated electronic dance sound to that style, just like when we used “Moombahcore” to identify the more brosteppy sound of Moombahton.
I hope this helps but as I said I am certainly NO EXPERT on this music and this a little bit of information that I found in about 30 minutes of research. I am happy to be corrected on any aspect.
So after all of that here’s “some” of the music I found “tagged” with the word “Tarraxinha” on Soundcloud. I’m sure you’ll find loads more examples on You Tube. I’m sure you’ll find loads of other great Tarraxinha if you search hard enough for it but sorry I was not able to do that for you today.
These are the more listenable tracks I found, some were pretty cheesy and so sacharine that I couldn’t bear posting them here.
I haven’t had a chance to check it all out properly and so I’m not sure it is any good. But the main point is to demonstrate that the variety of music that exists with this tag, some cheesy and some is ok and some is pretty poor attempts at it.
For example I was listening to this mix as I was writing this post and it starts off super-cheesy but gets pretty good towards the end:
This next one has potential man, I like it a lot.
This one is pretty simple and basic!
This is a bit strange and atmospheric and funny in parts, no offence intended.