DJ Marfox is the leading figure for a style of urban music that emerged in Lisbon in the 00s. It started with kids in their bedrooms who, empowered by the affordability of new digital audio workstations, began to deconstruct Afro-Portuguese rhythms and repackage them in an electronic, urban style. The movement is heavily influenced by Kuduro, a style of Angolan music developed in the 80s which laid carnival music samples over a 4/4 drum machine pattern.
The sound and its main outlet – the label Principe – are envisaged as an ambitious cross-cultural exchange: true embodiments of globalization and postcolonialism. It’s a genre notoriously resistant to labels, much to the frustration of journalists and critics. The best description we’ve found is: “It was like afro-beats with too much fuel, grime underwater or footwork with a staggered, clomping undercarriage”.
The tracks coming out of Lisbon at the moment share common social and cultural roots with UK grime and US ghettotech, yet are wholly different to both.