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

VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us

A1 – CHEF
A2 – Hard

B1 – Jam
B2 – Nunun

PRESS RELEASE

“Très peu d’hommes et de femmes existent par eux-mêmes, ont le courage de dire oui ou non par eux-mêmes.” Marguerite Yourcenar

Vinyl 12″; individually stickered sleeve, 300 copies available for the world.

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Where the album explores slower, melodic taraxho and R&B, Nídia’s 12” is built strictly for the rave with four tracks of proper dancefloor shapes made in her own style of electrifying body music compatible with heat from Nigga Fox to Nazar and the kind of style you might hear in a Shannen SP set.
‘Chef’ boots off royally with militant snares and rave fanfares locked to a churning technoid flow somewhere between Kuduro, Baile Funk and EBM trance, while ‘Hard’ rolls out on a stentorian, rictus march recalling vintage UKF, and ‘Jam Master’ strikes up high intensity trance riffs synched to industrial strength rhythms a la Nkisi, and the tumbling drums of ‘Munun’ sidewinds off along rhythmelodic vectors recalling a tempered Shackleton piece or a prime, deep Peder Mannerfelt workout.Tipped!

Boomkat, June 2020

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Words: Chal Ravens

On her debut LP, 2017’s Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida, Nídia sounded tough and triumphant, firing out knotty batida rhythms and piercing melodies with the pluck of a newcomer. Batida, a salmagundi of styles circulating through the Afro-Lusophone diaspora, and a sound closely associated with Lisbon’s Príncipe label, was still finding its footing on an international stage. Two years earlier, Nídia had joined the label when she was just 18 years old, building on the style as it had been established by pioneers like DJ Marfox and DJ Nigga Fox. After a long stint living in Bordeaux, Nídia has returned to Lisbon; Não Fales Nela Que A Mentes is one of three new records produced in her bedroom studio there. But unlike her hard-charging debut LP, this one is a breezy collection of mid-tempo tracks, clocking in at just 29 minutes.

With their spacious arrangements and shuddering, 808-style bass blasts, the 10 tracks owe more to rap and grime instrumentals, or the street sounds of the global South, than they do to the heat and frenzy of the club. (The title, taken from a poem by Jorge de Sena, roughly translates as, “Don’t talk about her or you’ll end up lying about her.”) Nídia’s approach to sound is efficient and elemental, taking recognizable material—hand claps, crash cymbals, plasticky brass—and creating complexity through arrangement rather than signal manipulation. She paints in bold, black lines before filling in the gaps with heavy pigments. On “capacidades,” a distorted voice pops up like a cartoon speech bubble, chanting “Go! Go! Go!” as the beat topples forward. On “rap-tentativa,” the rhythm is spelled out like a schoolyard clapping game while a pair of two-note melodies circle each other like a team chant.

The track titles read like hastily chosen placeholders—“popo,” “intro,” “RAP-complet”—as if they’ve come from a sample pack of “Nídia-Type-Beats” for prospective MCs. That doesn’t necessarily reflect on their contents; the interplay of breathy flute and twanged strings on “popo,” for instance, provides enough narrative without the need for human input. But other tracks do seem to be making space for a guest who never shows up, whether it’s a vocalist or simply a further development of melody or dynamics.

Nídia exits the stage with a reverse fanfare on “emotions.” Sad stubs of synth brass blare out over hand claps and hi-hats, like a negative sheet for some mid-’00s Southern rap hit. The ghosts of good times seem to hover in the wings. In fact, Nídia often finds her way to a minor key or a dissonant triad, upsetting her upbeat rhythms with a shred of nervous energy. On a two-track 7″ released in tandem with this album, there’s more of this happy-sad, stop-go mood, as growling basslines square up to pretty pianos. Such complications are fundamental to the Príncipe universe, where tensions are left unresolved.

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Words: Andrew Ryce

Nídia Borges’ music connects with an outside audience on a wider level than any of her peers in Lisbon’s batida club scene. Her appeal lies in her ability to blend heartfelt, often catchy melodies with acrobatic rhythms. Nídia’s productions have become more polished over the years, and on the brief but beautiful Não Fales Nela Que A Mentes, every instrument feels gilded and glowing.

Nídia’s rhythms move in and out of familiarity. “Tarraxo De Guetto” has the sticky stomp associated with tarraxo. The trilogy of “Rap” tracks play with contemporary hip-hop and trap forms, like the Metro Boomin-style synths of highlight “Rap Tentativa.” It’s in these three tunes that you can hear the duality of her music, caught between macho trap swagger and a romantic waltz. Her music has plenty of space, which makes the drums hit hard without overwhelming the elegant arrangements. Listen to the outsized drum hits in “Intro,” or how the snares and hats feel like they’re stalking around corners in “Popo,” as if they were trying to sneak up on you.

Não Fales Nela Que A Mentes is the first record that Borges made after moving back from Bordeaux to her childhood Lisbon home. There’s a newfound comfort in these tracks, which extends to lightheartedness (the Lex Luger synth wash in “Royal”) to what sounds like contentment. The closing track “Emotions,” with its triumphant horns and peppy handclaps, is one of her most striking tracks to date. The album feels like her smoothest chapter yet, but it comes alongside a 7-inch that packs more of a wallop.

The tracks on the Badjuda Sukulbembe 7-inch are the two longest productions in her catalogue. “Cheirinho” is swung and seductive, while “Tarraxoz Academy” is a wonderfully unstable track, like a tarraxo rhythm that’s drunk and unable to stay on its feet. The effect is intoxicating. These two tracks hit harder, faster and weirder than the prettier music of Não Fales Nela Que A Mentes, extending the range that has always defined Nídia’s music to two different records: one light, one heavy. Both are complex, hinting at the toughness Nídia has said was necessary to grow up in the projects around Lisbon. She bares her heart with her music’s lilting melodies, but there’s usually a stomp or forceful push behind it.

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Words: Tayyab Amin

Conceived almost a decade ago, the Príncipe label burst out of Lisbon’s poorer outskirts and onto an international scene enriched by burgeoning global sounds. While the song Danza Kuduro and acts such as Buraka Som Sistema took kuduro to car sound-systems and festival tents worldwide, Príncipe were keen to expand on the genre’s potential and break down racist, sexist and classist barriers holding it back locally. There are hints of house, techno and hip-hop in their music but the African-diaspora sound of Príncipe primarily incorporates Angolan kizomba’s intoxicating rhythms, melodic tarraxinha and the more skeletal, hard-hitting tarraxo. Few on the roster capture the sheer breadth of these styles as well as Lisbon-via-Bordeaux producer Nídia, whose repertoire shines across party-starters and darker tracks. Following a joyous debut EP, her first album for the label landed in 2017, pulling no punches with its heady, high-octane batida.

Nídia’s new record – Não Fales Nela Que a Mentes – is a more meditative affair, ridden with intimacy, introspection and bittersweet melancholia. The melody on mid-album cut Raps demonstrates this well, beginning with licks of uncertainty and paranoia before unfurling into a progression cooler and calmer than any summer evening. Percussion across the release is consistent in quality yet varied in style, from the shuffle and sway driving lead single Capacidades to the thrilling clap and hand-drum beat of Nik Com and the moody, captivating rumble underpinning Popo. Nídia’s best is saved for last on Emotions, a triumphant fanfare tinged with inner turmoil, where the vulnerability that connects artists to listeners becomes a two-way street.

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Vinyl LP / Digital
Written and produced by Nídia;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released May, 2020;

VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us

A1 – Intro
A2 – Popo
A3 – RAP Complet
A4 – Nik Com
A5 – Raps

B1 – Tarraxo do Guetto ft. Gamboa
B2 – Rap Tentativa
B3 – Capacidades
B4 – Royal
B5 – Emotions

PRESS RELEASE

In typical Nídia fashion, we come in touch with a moody, unsettling tone over the first couple of minutes, successful in conveying an automatic sense of respect for the remainder of the album. And you might call it mature, reflective, contained, slow-paced. And we might call it individual, rich in songwriting ability (we call them songs), 2 steps forward or sideways from Nídia’s body of work,

Any way we approach it, it’s a rich and emotive take on much loved afro styles, blended with Life guiding the producer’s hand and a resolute sense of direction in a career already full of high points. Check the late acid on “Tarraxo Do Guetto” and the trilogy of “Rap”-titled songs, sounding like intimate moments in the bedroom, details maybe lost in the fog of memory but retaining all the passion. Fittingly, the last song is titled “Emotions”, featuring an epic progression that makes it hard to decide if it’s uplifting or profoundly melancholic.

Vinyl LP; individually hand-painted, 500 copies available for the world.

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Five years on from Nídia’s debut 12”, and notable recent production and remix work for Fever Ray, Kelela and Yaeji, the Lisbon/Bordeaux-based wunderkind’s 2nd album lays out a supremely supple and crisply defined sound placing a critical, dare-to-be-different spin on elements of the African Zouk, Kuduro, Tarraxho and US R&B sounds she grew up with. Now after becoming something of a cult one-to-watch, and still only barely in her 20’s, Nídia’s sound has patently matured in terms of its emotional levity and pacing, but at no expense to the thrilling, rude angularity of her early 12” and 2017 debut LP ‘Nídia É Má, Nídia É Fudida’. Nídia’s music is now just cooler, concentrated and on-point stylish in a remarkable way that uncannily matches the mood of the times.

Showing off sharply honed melodic sensibilities and nudging her drums into singular syncopations, Nídia’s subtle but radical alteration to her sound now calls to mind beats by Timbaland, Lenky, The Neptunes or Equiknoxx (even LL Cool J) as much as her label mates on Príncipe. By stripping her sound down to its essence, rather than cluttering with FX or bait sounds, she’s arrived at a raw dancefloor blueprint that’s tough playing but sensitive, unafraid to go slow, heavy and heads-down in the club while also packing combustible peaks of excitement.

With effortless suss, Nídia shifts from an ‘Intro’ of experimental rave minimalism comparable to Rian Treanor, to a mix of Arabic wind motifs and clipped Deep South bounce recalling Virginia Beach’s best on ‘Popo’, while a trio of ‘Rap’ instrumentals tilt the game from mutant drill to 3-step sickness and a super strong nod to LL Cool J’s ‘I Need Love’. Zipped in with the a bubbling 8-bit slow banger ’Tarraxo do Guetto’ and grimy shockout eruption of ‘Capacidades’, Nídia’s cool hand on the pressure gauge keeps interest rapt until the finalé fanfare of ‘Emotions’, which surely matches the likes of Lex Luger or The Dream’s brassy mini-symphonies for emotive grip, but in a less muscular, more sensitively ambiguous way that Nídia coolly owns.
Boomkat, May 2020

E a verdade é que escutando Não Fales… se justifica plenamente essa aposta no material com que Nídia vai dilatando a sua obra. Confirmando o seu domínio das ferramentas de criação que elegeu, Nídia estende a sua visão no álbum por 10 momentos distintos, ainda que complementares. Há três “raps”, um tríptico de faixas em que a produtora aborda uma cadência que, de facto, poderia receber rimas em cima: L-ALI poderia adornar com a sua rebuscada ginástica verbal o pulsar de “RAP Complet”; seria maravilhoso escutar a vibração juvenil de Nenny na mais luminosa “Raps” que até inclui uma daquelas melodias que é meio-refrão; e “Rap Tentativa” poderia certamente acomodar o flow sinuoso de alguém como Landim e ser um daqueles bangers que inundam “ear pods” brancos em hora de ponta. Nada mais justo.

E Nídia mostra igualmente refinada mestria na forma como gere a tensão sensual dos padrões mais lentos, alinhando em “Popo”, “Royal” ou, e talvez sobretudo, “Emotions” argumentos que reforçam a originalidade da sua visão, com a gestão dos pulsares rítmicos (sempre imaginativa, diga-se, com Nídia a aplicar uma ideia de “arranjo” mesmo aos elementos percussivos) a ser somada a uma clara dimensão emocional exposta no plano melódico e feita em iguais partes de melancolia (“Popo”) e de uma certa exuberância de prazer (como em “Emotions”).

As pistas em pico horário (lá voltaremos) também encontram por aqui combustível com alta concentração de refinadas octanas, como é o caso do imparável “Tarraxo do Guetto” (com Gamboa) ou de “Capacidades”, tema em que Nídia explora o reluzente cromado pós-R&B capaz de deixar o sangue a ferver a qualquer um quando o passo acelera no refrão.
Rimas E Batidas, May 2020

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Vinyl 7″ / Digital
Written and produced by Nídia;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released May, 2020;

VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us

A1 – Tarraxoz Academy
B1 – Cheirinho

PRESS RELEASE

The rough surface on “Tarraxoz Academy” can suggest the fact that Sukulbembe is one of the spiciest ingredients in Africa, as known in Guinea-Bissau. Moving along really slow, it also suggests the opposite of agitation, and in that duality a light is struck.
“Cheirinho” is just plain sexy and takes us back to the title: if you try to translate “Badjuda Sukulbembe” into English, the best result is Spicy Girl. There’s that!

Vinyl 7″; individually hand-painted, 300 copies available for the world.

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Spinning off from the slower highlights of her album, ‘Não Fales Nela Que A Mentes’, Nídia’s 7” perfectly displays the subtly radical advances in her productions style on two achingly squashed and rude swivels that set her sound head and shoulders apart from the crowd.
Initially soft and tentative, but ultimately hard and freaky, ’Tarraxoz Academy’ plays out a heavy, druggy tension between its burning, biting point electro-leads, wavey organ refrain and dragging drums that recalls a screwed take on an imaginary DJ Stingray & Nkisi joint.
The modern rare groove of ’Cheirinho’ on the other hand comes marks a leap forward, or even sideways, from what you may expect from her early work, draping velvet chords on a natty swing beat like Omar-S gone broken beat or Dego doing Angolan R&B.

Boomkat, May 2020

No lado A surge a infecciosa “Tarraxoz Academy” que carrega provavelmente a mais feliz aliança de um simples fraseado de piano com um grave que parece capaz, subindo o volume, de rebentar woofers mais incautos; e, no lado oposto, “Cheirinho” é uma pequena pérola que servida pela garganta de alguém como Solange poderia escalar os tops dos nossos corações com a mesma facilidade com que a água nos escorre por entre os dedos.

Não há exuberância barroca na arquitectura sonora de Nídia que parece ainda assim capaz de erguer o equivalente sonoro a espartanas catedrais que parecem quase só feitas de vidro e metal, expondo a sua força e ao mesmo tendo sendo plenamente transparentes na sua componente emocional. Adornos mínimos, sofisticação rítmica máxima e imaginação na forma como se gere dramaticamente o espaço de cada canção. Nídia é boa. Nídia é – mesmo – lixada.
Rimas E Batidas, May 2020

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Texto: Rui Miguel Abreu

É verdade que o espírito inquisitivo e verdadeiramente exploratório de Alberto e António Arruda e de Sara Eckerson não lhes permite o “luxo” da imobilidade instigando-os a percorrerem vastos territórios musicais em busca de estímulos que lhes alimentem as ideias e as realizações musicais abundantes que lhes têm expandido a discografia a um ritmo assinalável (cinco álbuns e dezena e meia de EPs desde que se estrearam em 2011, com mais de metade dos títulos concentrados nos últimos 4 anos).

Neste novo álbum, não há um “centro” evidente. Nas notas de lançamento, explica-se que as “faixas resultam de horas infindas de improvisos ao vivo” em que o grupo implementa diferentes processos criativos esperando assim obter igualmente diferentes resultados musicais. Pode concluir-se que a nossa surpresa ao escutar uma nova guinada no caminho dos Niagara seja tão genuinamente franca quanto a dos próprios membros que, claramente, não estabelecem planos que lhes guiem os passos antes de encetarem cada uma das suas jornadas.

Afastados do por eles já bem mapeado terreno da pista de dança, os Niagara propõem aqui uma cartografia mais emocional, ensaiando, logo num primeiro momento, um intrigante cruzamento entre um plano melódico quase new-age e o que soa a uma implosão rítmica que nos dá uma camada de propulsão fragmentada, altamente abstracta. O momento seguinte funciona, de certa maneira, como o inverso, com a percussão que soa orgânica e tradicional (no sentido Giacometti do termo…) a assumir a dianteira e a traduzir movimento, enquanto em segundo plano e em contraponto há um drone em loop que parece traduzir imobilidade. “Tília”, sugerem os próprios Niagara nas notas de lançamento, “remete os ouvintes para o território de Forbidden Planet, não apenas por causa do tom sci-fi vintage, mas também porque se enreda no mesmo tumulto psicológico que o filme de 1956 explora”. De facto, o filme de culto de Fred M. Wilcox, em parte baseado no clássico drama The Tempest de William Shakespeare, teve no pioneiro score electrónico a cargo de Louis e Bebe Barron, o perfeito equivalente “musical”: um conjunto de pulsares e ruídos de absoluta novidade analógica que há quase 65 anos traduziam uma ideia de incerto futuro que então se começava a impor na geração dos baby boomers.

O tríptico “Ano-B”, “Ano-C” e “Ano-A” (por esta ordem, mas entrecortado ainda por um tema de título “46 x 92m”), esclarecem-nos ainda as já referidas notas, “florescem da mesma raiz e usam todos percussão acústica para acrescentarem uma vida mais orgânica à natureza líquida da música”. São três passagens de crescente abstracção em que os elementos percussivos são usados para pintarem a difusa paisagem em que rapidamente somos mergulhados, uma espécie de música exótica para o século XXII, plena de mistério e de ecos de estranhas formas de vida. Como se acabássemos de chegar a um planeta distante e ousássemos os primeiros passos fora da cápsula em terreno perfeitamente desconhecido.

“46 x 92m”, o tal tema que interrompe o fluxo do já mencionado “tríptico”, é um exercício de “quarto-mundismo” que nos sugere uma actualização de algumas ideias que se produziam no Japão digital dos anos 80, quando o DX-7 da Yamaha tanto servia para traduzir novas ideias de espaço como para evocar orquestras de gamelão. É uma vívida tela de tropicalismo pintada em cores de VHS que apetece deixar em repeat do nascer ao por do sol.

“Há algo a acontecer”, dizem-nos, em jeito de conclusão, os Niagara. Há, de facto. E não temos que perceber exactamente o que é para nos deixarmos ainda assim arrebatar.

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