By now most savvy followers of bass music have caught on to the absolutely stunning sounds coming out of Lisbon. The often maddeningly fast Afro-Portuguese polyrhythmic techno produced by artists like DJ Firmeza and DJ Nervoso freely taps into kuduro and other international influences to yield a diverse and fresh contemporary sound. Perhaps the scene’s most notable figure, DJ Marfox returns to his city’s Principe Discos label with Chapa Quente, a scorching six-track affair that demonstrates just how multifaceted this music can get.
An urgent thump opens “2685”, lulling the listener into a familiar place of straightforward dancefloor styles. Quickly, Marfox dismantles that with a delirious woodwind loop and enveloping percussion, rejecting convention to make one of the year’s best dance tracks. Utilizing his signature drop, his stop-start tendencies pour over like molten metal into the industrial fury and frenzied warp of “Unsound.” Comparatively more playful, dembow relative “Tarraxo Everyday” showcases more melodious vibes. But it’s his uptempo cuts like “Cobra Preta” that make Marfox such a vital artist, one whose potential has only begun to be revealed.