P001 – DJ MARFOX – Eu Sei Quem Sou

Vinyl 12″ / Digital
Written and produced by DJ Marfox, mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, artwork by Márcio Matos
Released in January 2012.

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Marfox inaugura a editora, desde logo, com a declaração “Eu Sei Quem Sou”. Em vez de arrogância, vejam nisso a afirmação de identidade referida acima. A partir de uma base techno africana, Marfox interpreta e amplifica os sinais de origem para uma outra noção de hardcore, uma certa radicalização habitualmente mal-afamada mas que, na sua expressão mais real, representa um distanciamento genuíno em relação às tendências instituídas. Oiçam “Pensamentos”, a última faixa, para imaginar como a tradição rave é conduzida por África. E tão sentimental como se consegue ser ao trabalhar com matéria em bruto. “Mitologia” condensa ainda mais culturas numa só entidade, sem subtilezas; “Bit Binary” é puro afro-tech e, reduzidas as BPM’s, adquire outra vida, do outro lado do mundo ou, até mais apropriado, debaixo dele.
Flur, November 2011

It sounds like interesting things are afoot in Lisbon. The new label Príncipe is a joint venture from two people involved with the record store Flur and the members of Filho Único, a cultural association whose events run the avant-garde gamut, from Mika Vainio to Hype Williams to free-improv players Joe McPhee and Chris Corsano; one of the organization’s co-directors, Nelson Gomes, is a member of the psychedelic, disco-oriented post-rock outfit Gala Drop.
Príncipe’s first record puts the spotlight on a parallel avant-garde: the club music of the post-colonial diaspora. Lisbon’s DJ Marfox, who hails from São Tomé e Príncipe (a former Portuguese colony off the coast of equatorial Africa), makes kuduro, an Angolan and Portuguese style of lumbering, percussive house music that sounds a little like a cross between UK funky and South African kwaito. Or something: I don’t pretend to be an expert, and in fact, despite my lengthy prologue, familiarity with any of the above is no prerequisite to being thrilled by this odd, electrifying record.
All four tracks are studies in tension, with fast, elastic loops of hand drums—shambling and shuffling, but wound so tight they could take your head off—and buzzing, staccato synth leads. (The only exception is the percussive workout “Bit Binary,” which replaces the sawtooths with shrieking guiros.) Marfox has a way with weird, modal scales and unsettling harmonies—something that many bass-music producers overly reliant on minor thirds and sevenths could learn a thing or two from. All four tracks are fast, around 140 BPM.
To the untutored listener, hearing DJ Marfox for the first time might cause the same initial frisson as juke, or at least that was the case for me. You wonder: what the hell is this stuff? How can it sound so familiar to the club music I know, and yet so alien? Is there more like it out there, or is this the work of a lone, weirdo genius? It might be both—and given the speed with which styles like kuduro spread, you won’t have to wait long to find out.
Philip Sherburne for Resident Advisor, January 2012

Eu Sei Quem Sou marks Portugese producer Marfox’s debut release and new label Principe’s first product in the virtual record racks. Marfox turns in a strong line in fast, club-ready kuduro beats – with the title tune mixing elements from the funkier side of techno with raw ethno-drums, while “Bit Binary” gets even more funky thanks to some crazy cuica samples over an organic-sounding bailie beat. With the frantic “Mitologia” detuning backing vocals and “Pensamentos” rocking a sinister arrangement, Marfox impresses hugely as he mixes the unabashed funk with some seriously twisted layers.
Juno, January 2012

A debut 12″ release for both DJ Marfox and Príncipe, “Eu Sei Quem Sou” takes cues from cumbia, raggaclash and kuduro. Already a legend in his native Portugal (who’s Youtube clips and “DJ’s di Ghetto” mixes are a staple) DJ Marfox’s unique batida (instrumental kuduro) style is fast seeing him gain fans across Europe and Africa. “Eu Sei Quem Sou” begins and is an electrified block party banger with frantic drums, wild sine waves and repeating vocal snippets. “Bit Binary” is next up and is a full-on percussion workout that displays the intricate rhythms and mystic voodoo energy that the producer doth possess. “Mitologia” has lashings of carnival energy and will have people swinging from the rafters and dancing on the car bonnets! Again, sine tones are used to devastating effect while the layers of manic percussion will have bodies gyrating in all directions. “Pensamentos” concludes and goes on a dark, garage-tinged hybrid with glistening pads, darting strings and piercing lead lines. An excellent EP that could only really have come out of a cultural melting pot such as Lisbon, a new direction for dance music on the global dancefloor.
Picadilly Records, January 2012

Wile-out Kuduro madness from DJ Marfox, kicking off the promising Príncipe label with a rambunctious 4-tracker. The ‘Eu Seiquem Sou EP’ is his debut release but he’s already well known in his native Portugal for his legendary ‘DJ’s di Ghetto’ mixes which have earned him notoriety from Europe to Africa. A-side features the polyrhythmic frenzy of the title track, all cascading fairground melodies and nutty drum pressure, plus the hooting Batida hoedown ‘Bit Binary’. Flipside starts the ruckus with exhilarating drops and carnival momentum on ‘Mitologia’ next to the Garage-infected flex of ‘Pensamentos’. If you loved Mental Groove’s ‘Bazzerk’ compilation, this is a must!
Boomkat, January 2012

One shot of the destructive power outstanding intense Kudo~uro sound voice samples percussion struck turbulence, of raising up to burst has been deployed! ! It is sure that a unique melody become a habit! ! Cumbia sound of Chusma label around and ZZK is one piece of the large narcissus to those who like! ! ! !
Google translated from Technique, January 2012

The head-turning 2011 debut EP of polyrhythmic deconstructionist DJ Marfox, straight from the hub of Kuduro, as a fresh digital release, marking the third anniversary of Lisbon’s visionary underground label Príncipe. It’s no surprise this mad sonic melting pot of Angola, Lisbon and Chicago would become a precursor for last year’s class outing on Lit City Trax – the title track clamps ghetto house vocal chunks in a speedy dembow riddim beat, ‘Bit Binary’ recalls wild drumming and tropical bird sounds. While ‘Mitologia’ introduces whistles, ’Pensamentos’ takes a turn back to the European continent with its trance-style synth lead.
Bleep, February 2015

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