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Mop Mop is an Italian drummer, producer and DJ who lives in Berlin. This is the second remix I did for him. The first one was released on vinyl back in 2013. We have since met in Berlin a couple of times. The last time I was there, we were hanging at a super cool outdoor place where Awesome Tapes from Africa, Nomad and Chief Boima where playing tunes. Amazing vibes. I hope to see Mop Mop live soon and I'm really looking forward to hear what he is cooking next!
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I don't recall the exact tracklist of my first ever DJ set but I do remember two of the highlights of the night: Celia Cruz's "Dos Jueyes" and Elza Soares' "Mas Que Nada". I was 22 and we were at a international students residence in South Paris where my girlfriend at the time was residing. Since then, Elza Soares and this song occupy a very special place in my heart. Seeing her on stage during Recife Carnival back in 2008 only made this feeling bigger.
When I first heard her last album, the very successful "Mulher do Fim do Mundo,” it took me a while to enter its dark and bitter aesthetics, but I was really impressed by the social impact some of those songs had in Brazil. O Canal wasn't an easy song to remix and instead of rewriting the rhythm and structure as I usually do, I chose to strip it down instead. I tried to remove some of the string and guitar layers to create space for the vocals and the rhythm. And I did all of his into a quite short timeframe, so I can now hear some things I wish I had time to do better, but hey.... Chill!
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I first released this album on my own back in June 2015. The album was really well received by DJ's and radio stations. It was the album of the week on WDR Funkhaus Europa (Germany) and got some airplay on Radio Nova (France) and BBC Radio 6. Both Mount Kimbie and Bonobo played the opening tune "Sadeo" on their NTS radio show. After a few months, Soundway Records got in touch to release the album. They printed it on vinyl (a few copies left here!) and re-released it in October 2016. Around the same period I put together a band to perform a live launch tour. The band was composed of Binisa Bonner (bass + vocals), Benoit Crauste (saxophone), Kino Sousa (ableton controls) and myself on guitar. You can read more about the content of this album here in the "Hafa track by track" section.
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Ondatrópica and Soundway Records had launched a remix competition and I thought I’d give it a try. I started by chopping Nidia Góngora's voice and trying to find rhythmic tricks to lower the song's BPM. I also added a couple of sounds taken from some Ondatrópica live recordings I had found on youtube. The remix ended up winning the competition and that's when I started a fruitful relationship with Soundway Records, that led to the release of my debut album. Not long after this episode, I got a text from a friend who was at a party in Cali (Colombia) telling me that Quantic had opened his set with a 7" dubplate of my remix!
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I met the guys of the London Afrobeat Collective back in 2010 when we (as part of Groovalizacion Radio) were commissioned by an Irish music festival to produce a radio documentary on afrobeat. We then did a series of interviews in London to feature some of the current afrobeat activists. Over the years I stayed in touch with these guys and went to see them perform whenever I was in London. So when I was offered to remix their music I thought I'd give it a shot. I brought the syncopated drums and my vocal chopping style in the mix to put together this dancefloor banger. Tested and approved by many crowd movers around the world!
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I lived in Dublin for a good few years and I used to run a night called Dublin Tropical in which guys like Mick T-Woc and Jeremy Murphy would bring their latest tropical crate-digging finds. One of the tunes that Jeremy Murphy would rinse at our party was this "Mistura de Carimbó Com Ciranda" by Pinduca. Once, Mick stayed at my place in Lisbon and he had found another copy of the record in the suburbs at an old lady's place. I thought I would try and extend it and add a bit of extra percussion. Technically I didn't "warp" it, meaning that I didn't try and make it fit on a beatgrid. I just played the extra kick and percussion along the record instead of forcing the record into a given bpm. It was released to promote my DJ set at Emile Omar's "Tropical Discoteq" party and has since been rinsed in many other parties!