There's an epidemic breaking out around Vancouver Island right now. An organic dance virus is sweeping around stages everywhere, taking hold of everything in its path. But this is a different kind of virus. Instead of depleting and weakening its host, the virus soaks its way into the bloodstream of its victim, filling it with spirit and moving the host to uncontrollable, soul-lifting dancing. Fuck The Walking Dead, this is The Dancing Living. Patient Zero, the source of the infection is called BOUSADA. (Just look at these groovy victims, succumbing to the infectious virus, bravely documented by Front Range Films.)
I see a lot of live music in and around Victoria. In these musical journeys it is common for me to run into a hot act over and over again often to the point of staleness. I've seen Bousada perform five times in the past few months (Including killer sets at Tall Tree and Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest) and not once have I picked up even the slightest whiff of I'm-bored-I've-seen-this-before. In fact, it's the exact opposite. Each time I see the good homie do his work, shimmying behind his gear as he builds his ridiculously smooth beats from scratch and layers his soulful vocals over top, I'm more impressed and more drawn to the infectious groove. To keep me coming back for more so often is a feat that I cannot overstate.
Seeing him at Logan's last week (Friday, July 15) was further proof that each and every time Bousada takes the stage, he's stronger than the last. From the moment he took the stage hips on the floor started moving and there was no let up for an hour straight. Right in front of the stage to the back room, it didn't seem like people really had a choice: their bodies were going to move, no matter what.
When he plays Bousada is a human energy conductor, feeding energy into the crowd, taking it back in and pushing it back through his equipment. His voice is silky and warm, singing uplifting, positive lyrics, often in a calmingly repetitive way, as if he's saying, “This is it. Here is what you need to let your mind rest.” And every once in awhile, the energy builds up so much that Bousada jumps back from his equipment and lets out a deep, visceral YAWP! It is the most gloriously human, wholly cathartic sound and by the end of the set a swath of the packed house was yelling right with him. I don't know the song titles, there aren't traditional song breaks and sometimes the music takes me to such a relaxed, trance-like state that I forget to even hear the words – it's frankly an experience that is hard to describe with words, try as I may. I've encountered nothing quite like Bousada. He's making deeply soulful, highly positive and intensely soothing music that gets into your blood and demands your dancing sacrifice. If you haven't seen Bousada, go see him - your soul will thank you for the nourishment. If you've seen him, go see him again - because, well, you know.