Tarraxo and Fondecia

Tarraxo and Fondecia

Tarraxo and Fondecia


Slow, sensual, hybrid and digital. A sound, of Portuguese denomination, has spread in the last months all over the world.
TARRAXO is the name given to a new style of dance included in the fan that now offers the kizomba. This has its origins in the Tarraxinha but is danced on much more powerful beats and basically what is tried is that follower and leader dance on the song by means of the corporal expression…
A gratifying rhythmic cadence, a slow sound, more sensual than sexual, a union of structures that arose in Angola, like the tarraxinha or kizomba, or the Antilles, like the zouk, but redefined in Portugal with elements of other genres, such as urban rhythms trap, moombhaton or dubstep.

Its beginnings

The baptism took place in 2013 in the event Boiler Room, when Buraka Som Sistema began its session with the theme Tarraxo. Kalaf Angelo grabbed the microphone and, through the slow digital cadence, said that what was being heard was zouk bass. And so it was.

Actually, it was a tarraxinha track, one of the many subgenres (besides kuduro, beat or afro-house) generated by young musicians from Lisbon or Luanda, but in an unconventional line, reflecting a new kind of influences.

This name became popular and in a short time, from the United States to Russia, from Argentina to the Netherlands, several musicians and producers began to use the expression, and finally created a sound inspired by principles defined by DJs as Angolan Znobia, but with new elements added.

The great added value of the Zouk bass turns out to be its elasticity, capable of adding innumerable references, and the slow rhythm, which gives more emotion to the dance.

Its diffusion

The diffusion is global, great musicians like the Englishman Thom Yorke (Radiohead) or the American Diplo (Major Lazer), have tried to leave their mark. The latter through Mad Decent, its publisher, who has already released several volumes of Zouk Bass compilations, including Portuguese such as Riot (Buraka Som Sistema), DZC Deejays or Bison & Squarffekt.

The American publication The Fader, the blog Tropical Bass or the YouTube channel Zouk Bass TV, by Braga Filipe Ribeiro, have been other important channels of diffusion of the genre.

As is easy to see, this is cheap music made through rudimentary technological tools in home studios. All these agents have profiles on Soundcloud, the online audio platform, and that’s where they meet the new music they’re producing. This is how the Setubalenses DZC Deejays (Di Zona Crew Deejays), a collective of DJs and producers (DJ2pekes, DJ Kuimba, DJ Matabaya, DJ Sacaninha, Motello), precursors of this rhythm, operate.

The Zouk bass is the result of a mixture of the drum machine, kizomba and even zouk, with a more electronic, darker and more progressive rhythm. More and more producers are mixing musical styles, thus obtaining a more innovative, versatile and daring content.

Tarraxo and Fondecia

Tarraxo and Tarraxinha

Normally in tarraxinha tracks, the sound is more rounded and there are more melodic structures, an example of which is the magnificent compilation of Keep Calm which includes tracks by musicians from Lisbon and Luanda, while the zouk bass is more minimalist and generally less melodic, and incorporates various influences. Take, for example, Bison’s magnificent five-track LP, rhythmic dynamism in slow motion, plenty of space, somewhat gothic elements and surprising environmental precision.

We can find the four-track LP (Squareffekt) by Afonso con Bison, instrumental themes, translucent sound in slow motion full of details, nocturnal music that invites more to melancholic abandonment than to hedonism on the dance floor. Linear music, of formal simplicity, but very singular.

as a conclusion we could say that Tarraxo/tarracho is a ven more raw and dark version of tarraxinha, more focused on the percussions, rhythm and less on the melody.…

Tarraxo and Fondecia


“Fondecia” is another style of Tarraxo, a urban style. It is stronger and has a faster rhythm compass.  It is so controversial because it is forbidden in some clubs of Portugal.

It focuses on that polyrhythm/triplets structure that has been most famously used by Buraka Som Sistema on their track “Zouk Flute”. It sounds raw, industrial and underdeveloped but complete at the same time.

According to Dj Matabaya “Basically it’s like Tarraxinha. You can call it Tarraxo Ghetto Style. If you slow down to 90 bmp a Kuduro beat in a ghetto style (for example the kind of Kuduro that they play at Principe Records parties) you get Fodencia. And if you slow a regular style Kuduro you get plain Tarraxo. That’s basically it.”

Tarraxo dance

The tarraxo dance has a lot of influence from the kizomba, the zouk and the tarraxinha, also there are movements that remember enough to the kuduro and the afro-house.  Its movements seem as if they have been “cut”.

This dance is characterized by a very close contact between the partners, a great role is played by the management of the partner. The main movements are concentrated in the legs and hips. Women’s and men’s stylistics are different.

Find out more about Tarraxo music: Tropical Bass Magazine – Tarraxo