Words by Jesse Serwer
A partner dance developed in the Pará region of Brazil, the Lambada became a worldwide ting sometime in the late ’80s, after French group Kaoma had a massive hit with a tribute song by the same name. The “Forbidden Dance” inspired two different movies and helped to mainstream thong underwear, while the melody from Kaoma’s song — a sample of a 1981 song by Bolivia’s Los Kjarkas called “Llorando se fue” — wound its way into numerous other recordings, like Screechy Dan and Red Fox‘s dancehall classic, “Pose Off.” The Lambada craze died quickly, receding into ’90s kitsch, but every so often it returns, such as in 2011 when J.LO brought the melody and theme of Kaoma’s hit back on “On The Floor.”
In U.K. deejay Serocee’s “Lambada,” a bass-y fusion of soca, dancehall and U.K. bass produced by Jus Now, “Lambada” isn’t a dance so much as it is an abbreviation of “long banana.” However, given the dirty dancing associations conjured by the title, dancehall’s dirty dance don Elephant Man makes a more than fitting addition via this new remix of the double entendre-laden track.
The rhythm track itself, though loosely inspired by dancehall’s Bookshelf riddim, was made with Carnival in mind. It’s being developed into a full-on riddim release for Trinidad 2017. Expect contributions from various vocalists out of Trinidad when that drops shortly. Until then, it’s Lambada time: