"The Beginning, The Medium, The End And The Infinite"

IKOQWE (pronounced ee-kok-weh) are a pair of fictional characters who, coming from a distant time and space, are confronted with today’s world. Their impressions are conveyed over the course of an exciting album which blends electronic music, hip hop and the sounds of ancestral instruments from Angola.

This is no coincidence: IKOQWE stems from the reunion of two old friends: both related to the Luanda music scene: ‘Coqwe’ is Pedro Coquenão, also known as Batida (the Angola-born, Lisbon-raised artist who ranks among the leading exponents of the new wave of African electronic music), while ’Iko’ is Luaty Beirão, aka Ikonoklasta, the Angolan rapper turned iconic activist.
IKOQWE’s inspiration comes from old school Hip Hop as much as from traditional Angolan music. Some of the tracks feature sounds from the rich archives of the International Library of African Music. IKOQWE obtained access to the archives, and sampled sounds taken from field recordings made in Angola by ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey  during the ‘50s. They mostly worked with recordings featuring ngomas, dikanzas and kissanges (thumb pianos), the emblematic instrument used all over Africa, whose popularity was bolstered in the Western music scenes by the spectacular advent of Konono N°1. We may remember that Konono N°1’s latest album was a collaboration with Batida, so this all makes perfect sense…

The album contains 11 tracks, and includes drum machines, vocals in Angolan slang, Umbundu, Portuguese & English, discussions about neocolonialism, iniquities & falsified history, radio sounds, utopian solutions, and much more.

The music and lyrics were written by IKOQWE and produced by Batida, sometimes in collaboration with key names in Portuguese dance music (Celeste Mariposa co-wrote and co-produced The Medium, Octa Push co-produced Vai de C@n@!), and with South African artist Spoek Mathambo, who worked on Falta Muito?.  

A first single released in January, Pele (’skin’), appears in three guises: the album version, and remixes by afro house legend Boddhi Satva and by UK ‘disco noir’ band MADMADMAD. A Pele music video was also be released, including some footage from IKOQWE’s first live performance.

IKOQWE will be doing live performances. Their show will take on the form of a musical, conceived by Batida and incorporating various art forms he’s been using: electronics, songs, dialogues and dance.  


The story according to IKOQWE

Three (?) creatures from a distant time and space (or not) immune to almost everything, burned themselves physically and mentally upon contact with normality. Since then they are stuck between returning to a restore point - "Like when your computer has crashed and asks if you want to go back to the last time it worked ok" - or moving on to the infinite.


Lusophonic Abominations. Angolan Slang, Umbundu, Quimbundu, English and others.

Fake History. Neo-Colonialism. Complicities. Iniquities. Utopia.

Drum machines, 303 bass, Angolan '50s field recordings by Hugh Tracey, Web, radio and TV Sounds.

From Hugh Tracey’s International Library of African Music

Live incarnation:
Fictional Budget Musical Theatre

IKOQWE  -  The Beginning, The Medium, The End and The Infinite
cram 306 -  vinyl / digital / CD
out 5 March 2021 on Crammed Discs

Track listing

1 The Principle (O Príncipio)
2 Bulubulu
3 Falta Muito? (feat. Spoek Mathambo)
4 Pele
5 The Medium (O Meio) (feat. Celeste Mariposa)
6 Vai de C@n@! (feat. Octa Push)
7 Outra Cidade (Another Town)
8 Makumba
9 The End (Kamicasio)
10 Quarentena
11 The Infinite (O Infinito)


Falta Muito? EP
BATIDA APRESENTA IKOQWE  - The Beginning, The Medium, The End And The Infinite
The Beginning, The Medium, The End And The Infinite