The undisputed champion of Lisbon’s new generation of kuduro producers DJ Marfox is back in action with a brand new EP on Portugal’s most tropical label. After this vibrant electronic style from Angola got introduced to the world by Buraka Som Sistema, a small yet dynamic scene started forming in the Portuguese capital as the African rhythms and dance moves gradually made their way from the suburbs and into the city.
‘Subliminar’ is the name chosen by DJ Marfox for his highly anticipated five-track EP, but the music contained inside is anything but subtle. Frenetic 140 bpm syncopated beats provide the framework on which he crafts intense beats, that he adorns with all sorts of sonic mischief to deliver peak time bombs every single time. While Full Speed sees a trance-inspired synth take the lead, Voodoo Sound (Africa) and Urban ADN prefer to channel tribal drums and chopped-up chants to create a hypnotizing dancefloor experience, whereas É Pemba and the title track Subliminar are all about the repeating 8-bit sounding bleeps, constantly blurring the borders between melodies and rhythm as every element seems to be part of something bigger: the beat.
As the country takes its steps into the 21st century, a new generation of artists and musicians emerge from the ghettos of an increasingly cosmopolitan landscape, whose primal urge to dance in the dark to the beat of the drum led to the rise of artists like DJ Marfox. Maybe there is something subliminal about the trance-inducing madness of his beats, as many Lisbon ravers would proudly confirm after witnessing the raw power of his tracks on a loud soundsystem, as these booming bass drums, chopped-up vocals and rapid-fire synths whip the crowd into a frenzy.