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NIAGARA music sanctuary

By Lexis

Every release starts sounding the same and it’s not long before the same laws of percentages apply for me: 60% of the music is uninspired and sounds like a copy of a copy, 30% of it is just awful but at least I tell myself it’s just not for me. But then there is that elusive 10% that just cuts through the noise and leaps from the “to-listen” pile.

Today that record comes from Niagara representing the up and coming Principe label out of Lison, Portugal. The extremely interesting young crew has been releasing strictly cutting edge electronic music in the last few years, representing their city and the sound of their suburbs, projects & slums. We strongly suggest you check out their entire back-catalog here.

But back to this killer release from Niagara. Fans of raw house and bizarro disco will love this one. “Impar” sounds like what legendary Disco-Punk bands like ESG or Optimo might be doing if they were in their 20’s living in Portugal right now.

An absolutely essential release!


artwork by Márcio Matos

A representar em Londres, onde o Cafe OTO colocou total confiança na Príncipe ao programar uma noite inteira com Puto Márcio, DJ Firmeza e o live set carismático de Niagara.

Representing in London, full confidence from Cafe OTO to host a Príncipe-only line up. Puto Márcio and DJ Firmeza will be DJs (expect plenty of Tia Maria productions – Puto Márcio’s crew – and plenty of Firmeza’s own tough, hypnotic beats), Niagara play live in their rough, hands-on style.

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Boiler room Principe

Music has a beautiful way of flowering distinct movements out of social and economical squalor. We’ve seen it happen time and time again – from the embryonic flirtations of jazz and blues, and further down the timeline through hip-hop, house and grime. Something about any harsh environment breeds an untouchable level of innovation and endeavour, and long may that be the case.

Later on this month, we’re heading back to Lisbon where one of the finest purveyors of Portuguese electronica work their magic — Príncipe. The imprint’s Facebook page states that they’re “dedicated to releasing 100% real contemporary dance music coming out of this city, its suburbs, projects and slums”. But there’s no simple way of putting a finger on the Príncipe DNA. Kuduro, a style of Angolan music and dance that began in the early ’90s and became widely popular in Portugal, is an integral component, but Príncipe’s style also includes kizomba, funaná, house, afro house and batida, genres mostly (but not exclusively) rooted in Angola, Cape Verde and São Tomé E Príncipe.

Waving the Príncipe flag with pride are the likes of Nigga Fox, DJ Firmeza and Maboku, some of whom are getting a well-deserved amount of global attention. We’ll be welcoming some of the lesser-known (yet, in no way dimmer) lights at the heart of the movement to our screens. Famifox & Nunex, better known as Alto Nível Produções, rep one of the most promising younger crews to peep. Nidia Minaj’s brash ghetto funk is refreshingly unlike anything else. Puto Anderson & NinOo are two of the brightest fireflies from the Firma do Txiga collective; suitably placed on the tracklist of the recent Lisbon-focused CARGAA 2 release on Warp. On top of that, Blacksea Não Maya – a DJ trio consisting of Kolt, Noronha and Perigoso – will be running their hands on wax before their heavily-anticipated 12” rears its head on Príncipe later in 2015. Then there’s the Michael and Vito Corleone of the Príncipe dynasty, Marfox and Nervoso, churning out wonders B2B as they’ve been doing for yonks.



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