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DJ Marfox

Electro, Ethnic / Portugal (Lisbon)
DJ Marfox




File under

Buraka Som Sistema, Batida, DJ Nervoso, DJ Znobia

Free style

African beats

" Something you've never heard before. "

Despite being under 30, DJ Marfox is already “old school” when it comes to making kuduro beats. He started around 2001, when he was only 13 years old. He began to deejay at local parties in his neighbourhood with a bunch of friends. The neighbourhood is called Quinta do Mocho, where numerous emigrants from former Portuguese colonies in Africa, such as Angola, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe Island, resided. The parents of Marlon Silva, DJ Marfox’s real name, came from an island in the Gulf of Guinea. It’s fair to say that he grew up in a slum, but luckily he had his music gang. In 2006, they shared a compilation called DJ’s Di Guetto Vol.1 on eMule – 18 tracks from DJ Marfox, DJ Nervoso, DJ N.K, DJ Fofuxo, DJ Pausas and DJ Jesse.

Ten years later, it still sounds unique and ground-breaking. Mixing kuduro, tarraxo, funaná, kizomba and semba (all African styles of music) into house and techno, always with a high BPM ratio (140 is the most common). No lyrics, just some samples of their own names with lots of effects. Maybe one or two snippets of classical music, like the intro of ‘Carmina Burana’ by Carl Orff. Most of their tracks were produced on the Fruity Loops free software. No fancy tricks, just beats and breaks.

DJ Marfox’s skills are amazing. He uses simple patterns to make dope tracks with sounds that take us on trip from Africa to Brazil, from 1980 to the future. His production is vivid and fast-paced, and his DJ sets aren’t to be missed. From Unsound Festival in Poland to MoMA in New York City, DJ Marfox is playing like crazy. In the last few years, he caught the attention of several record labels, such as Warp, Lit City Trax and Enchufada, which already released some of his tracks, as well as some of his crew members.

He’s been evolving his proficiency on both the dancefloor and on albums. His latest EP Chapa Quente is proof of that. He’s growing, creating more intricate rhythms, but retaining the gentle simplicity. His sound is clearer, he added new layers to his songs, even his mixing is increasing in depth without going overboard.

It’s no wonder so many people love DJ Marfox, including artists such as Gilles Peterson, Kode9 and Neneh Cherry, as well as media such as Rolling Stone, FACT Magazine, XLR8, Pitchfork, Thump and Crack Magazine. But probably the most accurate line was written by The Wire: “Needless to say, it’s unique.”