Neneh Cherry’s 1989 hit “Buffalo Stance” casts a long shadow: A dance classic about inner-city life that combines a punk attitude with an irresistible beat and melody. The song, from her equally classic debut album “Raw Like Sushi,” reached No. 3 in the U.K. and U.S., top 5 across Europe and No. 1 in Cherry’s home country of Sweden. It’s often referenced as a classic by artists, producers and fans across the world — and as recently as 2020, in Dua Lipa’s “Club Future Nostalgia” remix album helmed by the Blessed Madonna, Grammy-winning producer Mark Ronson is heard requesting the song, and the Blessed Madonna obliges.
While it’s a song that needs no improvement, it’s hard to imagine a more appropriate revisitation — which Cherry and her friend and fellow Swede, dancefloor pioneer Robyn, have done, along with singer Mapei. It’s the first new material from Robyn since her excellent 2018 album “Honey,” and she’s put her own stamp on the song, slowing it down and enlisting Blood Orange leader Dev Hynes to help produce and Mapei for a new take on Cherry’s iconic rap.
It’s also the first release from Cherry’s forthcoming collaborations album, due later this year — her first release since 2018’s excellent “Broken Politics,” produced by Four Tet.
Cherry says, “I love that I could write an essay with all the things I could say about Robyn and I love that she leaves me speechless at the same time. Her talent is soulful because she leads with her heart and spirit, she is absolutely there, ever present with honest intensity in her offerings which leave me blubbering with hairs standing erect on my arms and legs, dancing on my own talking to myself with a feeling that everything is going to be alright.
“The first time I saw Robyn live in Stockholm with my daughter Mabel (then a young struggling teenager) she only said two things that night: ‘Hej Stockholm’ and in the middle of a song shouted out ‘MABEL!,’” she continues. “Mabel was so happy I had tears streaming down my cheeks. Robyn gave everything and when she needed a pick-me-up she ate a banana….she stole my heart. I’ve known Robyn for 3 decades, she is my sister, my friend, my family, a creative inspiration. So to have Robyn doing her version of a new life interpretation of ‘Buffalo Stance’ is an absolute honour…and with Dev Hynes and Mapei, this is what dreams are made of!”
Hear the new version here:
and the original version here:
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