July started out rough: after 10 years, Portugal’s Buraka Som Sistema called it quits with a massive outdoor show in Lisbon. We’ve already wept and mourned, but we find comfort in knowing that their trailblazing journey opened a door for Afro-inspired sounds on international dance floors. There’s already an entire new generation of young producers ready to carry the torch, led by Angolan phenomenon Dotorado Pro.
The 18-year-old producer took off two years ago when his single “African Scream (Marimbas)” became a huge hit in Portugal and a viral hit in countries across the African continent. And as you can guess from this single and “Love Marimbas,” his contribution to Enchufada’s Upper Cuts series, well, he really loves marimbas. He loves them so much that, on his brand new EP, he crowns himself the king.
Rei das Marimbas comprises four tracks, built primarily around Afro-house and hints of kuduro. Dotorado Pro’s focus here was to cook up precise beats that, as scarce as they appear, effectively trigger every single body muscle. The rhythmic melodies are as contagious as they get, and he makes his beloved wooden instrument shine on the title track and on “Marimba Rija.” On “Mister Kalimba,” it’s the (you guessed it) kalimba that adorns this tarraxo-inspired kizomba banger. Meanwhile, vocal samples lead tracks like “Ewe” and “Afro – Indian,” as the contagious percussion sounds pop out of the speakers.
Dotorado Pro is well aware of the club sounds that come out of Europe, but it’s the sound of Angola, and Africa in general, that pull through. And, Lord, he’s only 18.
Rei das Marimbas is out now on Enchufada.