Vinyl 12″ / Digital
Written and produced by PML Beatz;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released January, 2020;

VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us

A1 – No Cubau
B1 – Manganza
B2 – Pedra de 800 Kg

PRESS RELEASE

Of Cape Verdean and Angolan descent, brothers Lisandro (20) and Ivan (22) are no longer producing physically as a team but currently exchanging ideas from their respective homes in Portugal and Luxembourg, this being one of the countries where Portuguese have traditionally sought a better life.

“Pedra de 800Kgs” is a heavier adaptation of a motivational expression their father used when the kids were having trouble with something: “That’s easier than lifting a 500 kg rock”. You might sense the heaviness on the deliberately distorted bass tones and everlasting drone on “Manganza”. This is about laying out a heavy heavy sound, sure, plus the title track delivers a magnificent, warped, kuduro punch, updating the continuum with an abstract, fast, elastic, dancefloor-designed tune.

Back to “Manganza”, dancers perhaps congregate around the whistles that punctuate the track, but these are more closely connected to the rhythm in the tense 6-minute broken techno of “No Cubau”, a journey through layers of groove that, though tense, gently carry the listener from take off to landing with zero alienation.

Theirs was a long process initiated in 2010 when they were barely entering the Teen Age, still too young to persevere with the software. Fast forward to 2017 and, because the drive was still present, they approached childhood buddy and neighbour DJ Bebedera for serious lessons. Even more natural because PML could actually hear him through the walls blasting fresh sounds every weekend. Go pro.

Vinyl 12″; individually hand-painted, 300 copies available for the world.

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Words: Daniel Bromfield

Rogerio Brandão cuts the center out of his sound on his debut album Cartas Na Manga, leaving in its place a throbbing force field that holds together the constituent parts of its nine tracks. What’s going on between the drums is as interesting as the drums themselves, and if you stick your fingers into the empty spaces you might get zapped. Given the level of intensity sustained across the four EPs he released earlier this decade, it was probably inevitable the Portuguese producer would tone his sound down when it was time for his full-length debut. What’s less expected is that he does it with such a vengeance.

Cartas Na Manga is always surprising. Whenever you think Brandão might be getting a little too sentimental—like when he brings in a kiddie xylophone on “Namha,” or summons lonesome chords on “Faz A Minha” that suggest The Other People Place’s “You Said You Want Me”—he flips a switch and reconfigures the track as a banger. There’s usually a lot going on in Brandão’s productions, but Cartas Na Manga is uncluttered and streamlined, perfect for big speakers and bigger crowds. That these tracks err towards the tempo of house and techno further suggests he’s trying to broaden his reach.

But his idiosyncrasies remain intact. Listen to the unholy, screaming wind that fills the space through which the drums tumble and flip on “Sub Zero,” which after a truly terrifying DJ tag is replaced with little buzzing synths that seem to grapple and bite. Cartas Na Manga has a suavity, a grace, a sense of knowing exactly what it’s doing; Jlin’s computer-samurai shtick comes to mind. Brandão presents himself here as a professional, someone who knows what the crowd wants and has the skill and vision to deliver it in a way that’s interesting rather than one that feels like a concession.

The more subdued approach we encounter here doesn’t always work. Some of the later tracks, especially “Pão de Cada Dia,” hang uncertainly between the hyperactivity of the producer’s earlier style and something more ambient. More effective is closing track “5 Violinos,” which uses a digital steel drum the way a folk singer might use an acoustic guitar: as the skeleton for an uncommonly soft and sensitive piece. It’s reminiscent of My Love I Love, Bogdan Raczynski’s fascinating collection of digital confessionals; it’s the quietest thing Brandão’s ever done, and one of the most confounding.

The Afro-Portuguese club sound is desired abroad for its strangeness. Taken out of context, it might disorient the listener the way footwork did when it first made its way out of Chicago. For those not intimately familiar with Brandão’s sound, Cartas Na Manga is a good litmus test for whether you desire it for its strangeness or for its craft. For the most part, this record’s not going to sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before, but the skill that went into it is obvious. If it’s “weird,” it because Brandão has gone out of his way to make it weird, while still delivering the goods as dance music.

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The series Cargaa turned out to materialize in a sequence of acknowledgments from various cultural agents in the international landscape. It meant recognition and valorization. Beyond the enthusiastic appreciation for our work, I believe they wanted to explore the possibility of publishing it. Warp meant little or nothing to the artists that had tracks included on the series. That makes it extra clear to me that it is one of the most exciting labels in the contemporary panorama, because they remain loyal to their vision of embracing unconventional artistic expressions, representing this music made in the peripheries of Lisbon

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