We’re living in a time where, now more than ever, cherishing diversity is absolutely essential. And that’s exactly what Enchufada label founder Branko’s new compilation, Enchufada Na Zona does so well. The collection taps into a host of international club cultures and is packed with borderless bangers galore. It contains originals, edits and remixes from the likes of Jowaa, Lorenzo BITW and Pote that fuses everything from gqom to kuduro into one of the best celebrations of international dance music we’ve heard this year. Listen to our premiere of Branko’s compilation below.
We caught up with Branko to talk through the compilation’s global influences and how the project came about.
What’s the main source of inspiration behind the project?
The choice of artists and songs for this first ‘Enchufada Na Zona’ compilation comes from who I am and what I intend to represent as a music producer and a DJ. So, the main and most direct inspiration here comes from my experience of performing in clubs or festivals as a DJ and the music that I’ve been selecting for our monthly NTS shows. If I was still performing with vinyl, these tracks and dubplates would be what I would have in my “crates”.
Is there one Na Zona in particular that influenced you more than anywhere else?
Yes, definitely Lisbon! But not because of a specific scene but because of the music and culture that I was surrounded with while growing up here. The Lusophone universe is huge and it triggered in me a musical approach that always prioritised fusion over anything else and that ended up defining my artistic personality and that’s always gonna be my starting point and main direction.
Which parts of the world influence this project the most?
There’s a lot of music from Lisbon and its surrounding areas, but there’s also music from Brazil, Peru, South Africa, Italy and Ghana. So I guess the perspective here is pretty wide and open. It’s mostly about celebrating cultural diversity.
How did the compilation come about? And how was it put together?
I was discussing the concept people have been using lately of a playlist release with a friend and how in my mind, that was pretty much taking things back to artist mixed, or artist curated compilations, but presented as an album by a specific artist. The more I discussed and digested it the more I felt like I actually had something to say on this matter, mostly because the music I’m playing out is still super underrated when I compare it to the audience reaction I get when I’m playing it.
So, I started thinking about this concept and who I would include in a compilation like this. It would obviously have to be linked with my label Enchufada, because pretty much 80 percent of the music I play out has been released on Enchufada, and it would also have to keep our mission statement of eradicating musical borders in the process.
I had a huge list of songs and artists to get in touch with and from there I ended up picking these 14 tracks and worked on grouping them together to try and create what in my mind feels like the perfect playlist, while including some of my own personal edits of tracks for my sets as well. The thing that ended up taking more time was the track order, because I really wanted it to run perfectly, so it’s all harmonically organized and it’s definitely an honest representation of how I organize and hear music.
Where’s your favourite place in the world to play out?
The place where I have the most fun is probably in South and Latin America. I think in countries like Brazil or Mexico there’s a deeper historical and social consciousness that ends up translating into how people consume music and approach culture in general, celebrating differences and understanding that everything is connected. The shows are always fun because I can go from point A to point B without having to retract part of the set’s story.
What’s your number one tune to save a dance floor?
The track I’ve had the craziest reactions to has been my edit of Bad$ista and Tap – Na Madruga, works on every kind of mood and crowd.
What do you think is the most slept on global music scene that deserves more of a shine?
I don’t think there’s a specific scene I’d say has been slept on, but I would say that this musical approach in general and a lot of the artists that are part of it are seriously slept on. It’s easier for everyone to relate to a simple and direct narrative, be it either a genre or a story and that is just not the case here. This whole scene for me is about eradicating all of that, it’s about creating the ultimate forward thinking music fueled by a cultural perspective for club music without taking in how hard it is to actually market it. Artists like Spoek Mathambo, Dotorado Pro, Dengue Dengue Dengue or Nucleya, just to name a few, should be celebrated worldwide as equally important as all the trap, techno, house leaders and that’s not the case.
Why is this compilation important and what’s the thing you’re trying to achieve the most in releasing it?
Like pretty much everything we do, this compilation aims to celebrate diversity and an approach to the music industry that’s not based on the staple of the English language with an industry that is focused mainly on English speaking artists. It’s about stating that, with laptops, the rest of the world can pretty much do whatever the industry has been doing for years but with a more interesting perspective, without having to dumb down for the audiences by hiding from them what’s behind all the music, drum patters, scales, melodies, etc. Growing up in Lisbon I never thought I would eventually have any sort of voice when it came to music on a more global perspective, but step by step with Buraka, with Enchufada or by myself we ended up creating a very unique space and putting our city on the map, without having to migrate somewhere else where all the “music opportunities” are.
Describe the compilation in one word.
Lorenzo BITW – 27 (ft. rAHHH)
Populous – Umi
Mina – Sentah (ft. Bryte)
BadSista & Tap – Na Madruga (Branko Edit)
KKing Kong – Drenas
DZgot – Bout Konpa (Branko Edit)
Gamboa Beatz – Malditas Melodias
Dengue Dengue Dengue – Guarida (Branko Edit)
Sansai – Do Banque
Rastronaut – Azinhaga
Jowaa – Banku Dade
Batuk – Força Força (Branko Edit)
Dotorado Pro – Vibes
Poté – For The Cause
Branko will release Enchufada Na Zona Friday, July 7.
For more premieres like this, check out GQOM king DJ Lag’s “Khonkolo” right here.