Atochar is a slang word used in Rafa Dias’ (a.k.a. ÀTTØØXXÁ) home town of Paulo Afonso, Bahia to communicate intensity. For example, “Turn that shit up” might translate as “Atocha essa porra aí.”  ÀTTØØXXÁ is fucking fuck or ÀTTØØXXÁ is the fucking shit. Yep, there’s your first lesson in perhaps the 2 most important cuss words in Brazilian Portuguese. Basically, it means that it’s really good. 😉

This music reflects a long history of fusion – from the era of slavery when africans of different ethnic backgrounds were forced to live together, bringing their already divergent cultures together, to much later in the 1980’s, when influences from Caribbean musics helped form new styles like samba-reggae and axé. This evolution continues to this day (claro!) where the global references of electronic music from dubstep, ragga and trap, sound system culture and bass music are folded into the mix.

“ÀTTØØXXÁ É FODA PORRA” was the phrase one of the rappers, Raoni Knalha,a came up with to describe the sound of this album to be. He couldn’t have been closer to the truth!  ÀTTØØXXÁ also reflects Rafa’s intuitive appreciation of both indigenous Brazilian and Arab cultures – much of which comes through in his work. It also emphasizes the number 2 – there are 2 A’s, 2 T’s, 2 O’s and 2 X’s – which emphasizes the hybrid nature of his work, combining seemingly divergent elements into a cohesive whole.

|||| What is Pagodão? ||||

|||| How much does its rhythm influence the theme of the song? ||||

These two questions were created to give a direction and guide the production of what would become the album. Vocalists were invited to compose lyrics with no limits. The only suggestion was to let themselves be inspired by the vibe of the tracks – the gritty, dirty heaviness of the tracks, the sensuality of the dance moves it inspired – and to affirm all of this with words.

The vibe of the album was greatly inspired by the precarious technical conditions that pervade the pagode/arrocha scene – poorly mixed music playing out of distorted trashy sound systems, but with a certain special charm. Recorded with very little infrastructure, shitty microphones and bad acoustics, it is music by any means necessary which results in a very special atmosphere. Rafa’s intention was to re-create this and to bring his own vibe to the mix. Pagodão is the bastard child of arrocha, which was the bastard child of samba reggae and axé, which was the bastard child of samba de roda. The bastard child of the bastard child.

ÀTTØØXXÁ é foda, porra!

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Tracks on Kafundó Records