São Paulo, 2013 -
Alberto Matando Manzambi a.k.a. Pitshu migrated to São Paulo, Brazil from Luanda, Angola in 2005 at the age of 20. With him he brought a unique voice for a kind of music unknown to him at the time.
His musical occupation back home was singing Kuduro, a genre of popular dance born in Angola at the end of the '80s that continues to evolve today. Still getting accustomed to the third-largest city in the world, he befriended Jimmy The Dancer, a well-known personality in the Centre. Jimmy introduced him to the Dubversão Sound System, led by DJ Fabinho Yellow P since 2001. Dubversão had a regular Friday party downtown, playing roots reggae and dub selections rarely heard in the city at that time.
In 2006, Pitshu brought his unique voice to the party - not versed in Jamaican music, his sense of melody, phrasing and cadence was a fresh, new juxtaposition upon the heavier tempo of Jamaican reggae and the psychedelic sounds of dub version. The combination worked famously and Pitshubecame the official MC for the party.
This association also resulted in his first CD, "Basoda", produced and released by Dubversão in 2008.
Victor Rice was another regular at the party since 2002, discovering it soon after relocating to São Paulo from NYC. Already an 'honorary member' by 2007, Rice brought his Strikkly Vikkly Dubsystem to the party for a special performance. Pitshu improvised deftly over one of the tracks, a King Django rhythm called "Nex Season",
while the camera was recording. Rice noted the melody and invited Pitshu over to Studio Copan to develop and record the idea.
This would become the first of many collaborations (and the opening track to the sophomore record).
Pitshu would arrive at the studio nine more times over the course of two years, and in 2009 Dubversão's Yellow P and Mau would join Rice at the mix sessions.
This, Pitshu's second full-length record, has already yielded a 7" single, "Jah Kona" b/w "Major Vikkly"[TRT-001], an instrumental version by Cedric I.M. Brooks(Tenor Sax) and Kevin Batchelor(Trumpet).
Pitshu and Rice drew on a variety of source material for these recordings. Some of the backing tracks were created on the spot using real drum tracks from other songs, or a combination of loops and samples. The bass was always played by Rice, though sometimes written by Pitshu. Other rhythm tracks were entirely pre-existing productions that inspired the singer to find a melody.
Pitshu jumps freely between languages - Lingala, Portuguese, French, and on occasion Kikongo, English and Swahili. It would take a very particular ear to to discern each and every word of his performances. Pitshu assures the listener that all lyrics are of a basic, positive nature: Giving thanks to the Creator, treating children well, respecting one another. An interesting exception is "Pastore", where he calls attention to those members of the clergy that would abuse their position in society for pleasure and personal gain.
Pitshu can still be readily found singing at the parties in the centre of São Paulo - His old collaboration w/ Strikkly Vikkly sometimes comes to the stage, and he has started working with a live band, Massahara, as well.