The Focolitus;

insubmissive and strange punk band,

landmark in secondary schools and

in everything that was untrendy 

in late 90’s and early in the century

in Lisbon



Research Project

The existential problems of Focolitus for the understanding of the so called Portuguese Punk Movement (PPM) or Identity (PPI).


Philosophers should listen to punk. Though largely ignored in analytic aesthetics, punk can shed light on the nature, limits, and value of art. Punk intentionally violates widely held aesthetic norms, thus raising questions about the plasticity of taste and points to a relationship between art and self awareness. These suggest that art appreciation is not just about finding beauty or aesthetic worth but is also about constructing a self.


Focolitus can be divided in 6 events.  For each event the group may have different graphical forms: FOCOLITHS, FOCOLITZ, FOCOLITOS or other less known derivatives.
The Focolitus’ events do not follow a simplistic chronological order; they can manifest synchronically or even multichronically.
These events do not have specific boundaries and are hardly to define; such as other natural events that arise from chaos.



The Prehistoric event may be represented by the earliest focolitus’ records. They are characterized by roughly unstructured sounds with a strong sense of magnetic dissemination generally in a quiet atmosphere lacking of any social constraints. Although, this event is not very well known or understood, it has been coming out slowly as a digital album “Focoliths K7“.


The Intellectual  event can be characterized by live album 2M. Important to notice is that not only the poetry elements exemplifies this event. Has not poetry spread out in all Focolitus’ events? Moreover, this was not the first event that had used poetry. However, for the first time it was used conscientiously, and therefore it has been called as “Bué Intelectual”. This event can be characterized by a introspective atmosphere involved by acoustic instruments and an hypnotic wordy voice where the intellectual class can make a stand.


The proto-punk event is one of the most difficult ones to define. Firstly, it actually appeared within the prehistoric event; but generally can be defined by “hate week” songs. Maybe can be characterized by a punk attitude with no drum or badly played in a home environment, similar to previous events.


This earlier event is the beginning of a regular rock band with 5 elements on it. It is the discovery of loud noisy sound at low-cost studios. It is reckless. This can be characterized by a non-creative period where the strong repetition in a lousy loud effort remains static. This event marks a no return sub-sequential period evolution. “dial f for Focoliths” characterizes the prepunk period.


The Synpunk event is marked by the release of two Cd-R albuns in 2001 A melhor maneira de prever o futuro…  and in 2002 Expelir demasiados humores do cérebro…. However, it is not clear witch musical style is it plays. This event clearly marks the maximum convergence of everything that had been brought up, an historical moment, maybe even a revolution, a time where the unexpected can take form.   The rising of sound due to transpressional convergence that subducts the definition itself.


Despreshion das Märr Kathara is the ultimate example of this period. This event is marked by a relaxation phase  – a non-noisy outstanding rhythms and melodies. Punk rhythm is not important any more. Punk is not needed to do Punk. Punk is dead. From the chaos everything can reborn.



At the first glance “À distância” could be classified has part of an intellectual event, however, this song was recorded in 2006 representing an eruption, a later event of a previous event emerging abruptly. The poetry effect often misclassified as stated before. The presence of mid-chaotic music with a strong lack of social constraint in a low-fi system obviously brings us into a prehistoric event.  Another type of utilization of the prehistoric event can be found in the “paisagem” song.


However, when we look at “O rato que canta” –  a 4-lane, low-fi record – it can again be misclassified into different events: prehistoric, intellectual or even proto-punk. In a way the song is composed by all this events, however, all these elements are gathered in a post-punk way, creates something more close to it. More non-noisy punky scheme; part of the album of Despreshion, the forgotten music. This is what happens when the drum is shut down

When is turn it on, in a post-punk period, despreshion-type songs happens. But something strange happened with “E.. Vá a verdade ao Inferno”, an Intellectual event that emerged in a strange form, furthermore at a start  – a synpunk powerful event…

On the other hand, there is no doubt what “Bing” stands out for: an early punk attempt, a DIY commitment, But there is also a very important song of this period “silly mask”…

This is probably one of the few songs that survived several events, an inherited music.  Raised in a prehistoric event, developed in a proto-punk atmosphere and played indefinitely in a pre-punk period, simply died just before the growth of the synpunk movement but still was part of it, played in 2000 at Casa Okupada, this music opens a new era that can be marked by the development of “Rendição é Morte”.

As it can tell, this music maintains a very important element of the prepunk system – an annoying repetition – but putting together such different and at the same time identical elements generates a synpunk atmosphere. This atmosphere can have many forms.

Are there  any more possible events?


styles tend to separate men, because they have their own doctrines, and the doctrine became the gospel truth that you cannot change! But, if you do not have styles, if you just say: Here I am as a human being. How can I express myself totally and completely?—that way, you won’t create a style because style is a crystallization; that way, is a process of continuing growth…. To me, ultimately, Punk means honestly expressing yourself.

FocoAlbum Focolitus