Like recently the volcano of Ilha do Fogo has tragically proven, there are strange forces on earth’s core whose overwhelming power is still unknown and that are not possible to predict or anticipate.The same is true in music. Although nowadays one tends to think that music no longer contains any mysteries and that there is no longer memories left to explore, the truth is that occasionally, still appears an unexpected eruption. Fortunately, in the case of music, the only thing that can possibly be devastated with such phenomena is inertia. A clear case is Fogo Fogo, project of Francisco Rebelo (bass), João Gome s (keyboards), Márcio Silva (drums) Danilo Lopes and David Person (voices / guitar) that regularly explodes with uncontrollable energy the dance floor of Casa Independente , a true cultural institution operating in Largo do Intendente at the service of a new Lisbon.
The Lisbon that sees the birth of Fogo Fogo is vibrant and special: it’s a Lisbon where it fits all of Africa, especially the Lusophone i.e. Portuguese-speaking people… A Lisbon where you can still find vinyl collectibles from Os Tubarões as well as all the obscure author’s editions of pearls from the Cape Verdean diaspora, like the ones recorded in the 80s and 90s in Musicorde Campo de Ourique studio. Gems that the world has never heard. This is the Lisbon that, alike the volcano, spews Fogo Fogo.
As we began to explain, there are still many secrets in music, many lands to explore, although there are those who believe that everything is already on YouTube. One of those secrets is Funaná of Cape Verde, from Santiago Island. The publisher Analog Africa, for example, has taken good care of the most important memory of Semba and Rebita of Angola in two wonderful compilations that serve as a kind of ancestral history of music in a country that offered Kuduro to the world. Now, signs begin to show that Funaná may be the next explosion of international tracks: Os Tubarões finishing an apotheotic concert in Lisbon with “Djonsinho Cabral”; Ferro Gaita igniting the crowd on a great show in Loulé world music festival; and, above all, the return of Bitori (supported by Bulimundo musicians) to the international stage by the hand of Samy Ben Redje of Analog Africa.
All together, this means that Fogo Fogo is an urgent manifestation of a culture, that very much alike a volcano is about to explode. The musicians involved are ultra-experienced, deep connoisseurs of multiple grooves of African inspiration, throwing themselves to festivals like FMM Sines, Nos Primavera Sound 2018, Boom Festival 2016 and 2018, Eurosonics 2018, MIL Lisboa 2019, Andanças, and African ballroom dance parties in clubs like B.Leza or Casa Independente , as if 1987 had been just a few days ago. In this context the band takes upon them the most crucial mission: to induce dancing with no hidden tricks, only powerful bpms loaded with drums and bass in permanent slippage and sounds inspired by the traditional concertina, that command the melodic identity. E Si Propi, Sentimento, Pomba, Cabra Preta e M’Bem Di Fora – five pieces of hot lava, recorded with an intense and direct manner. In 2018, the band has released Nhá Cutelo, a 7 inch vinyl record with two new original singles, by Espanta Bjon records with Oh Minina and Nha Cutelo both reaching the dance floor audiences, with great airplay in the national radios.
Fogo Fogo may well be the event of the year that not many people have yet discovered. But after the eruption, nothing will remain the same.
“Fogo Fogo’s self-titled debut EP accelerates a listener’s heart and one’s life with it: imposing an unforgettable experience, either through a simple listen or a dance and a listen. There is a rustic, organic feeling to the music, as if the music of a group of young men in the service of the god Pan, son of Hermes, god of the wild.”
– Rhythm Passport, UK