artwork by Márcio Matos
Festa no Musicbox na baixa lisboeta.
Party at Musicbox in downtown Lisbon.
Words by Mark Pytlik
Constructed around a breakneck 160bpm drum pattern courtesy of rising Portuguese producer Nídia, “IDK About You” is a lustful gulp of a track with a thesis that isn’t delivered as a mournful sentiment, but as wild-eyed anticipation of an anonymous and possibly drug-fueled hookup. “Let’s find out what you are about/What’s hidden in there/What you got for me there,” she sings. “Let’s find out if our spirits meet/Let’s push and tweak/Let our spirits meet.” Containing trace amounts of footwork, as well as of Lisbon’s native batida, Nidia’s pummeling production provides zero cover from Dreijer’s agitated delivery. The end result is pure adrenaline, making this the frantic and booming centerpiece of an already twitchy album.
Words by Chal Ravens
Born in Portugal and based in the Paris suburbs, DJ Lycox is one of the jewels in Principe’s ever-shinier batida crown. This criminally brief mix for The Astral Plane – the first in the label’s restarted mix series – shows off Lycox’s flair for melody and smooth, laidback vibe, in contrast to some of the more frantically percussive producers on the scene.
Appearing ahead of his debut album, Sonhos & Pesadelos – which is spectacular, incidentally – this is 30 minutes of that’s perfect for the warm-up party.
Words by Gabe Meier
After an almost five month hiatus, the Astral Plane Mix Series is back up and running and we’ve recruited one of our favorite artists from Lisbon’s Principe crew. DJ Lycox has been a longtime favorite, appearing constantly in our For Club Use Only feature for FACT and becoming a quick staple in Astral Plane DJ Team sets. Born in Portugal and based in the Paris suburbs, Lycox is a prolific producer, initially emerging as part of the Tia Maria Produções trio before setting out on his own. Working mainly within a kuduro framework, Lycox’s productions are intensely melodic, introducing an element of euphoria and pop song writing to the genre’s intricate percussion arrangements and forceful energy. On November 17, Lycox’s debut solo album will be released by Principe, a coming out party of sorts for an artist who has become an underground favorite and a release that will surely establish the Portuguese producer as one of the most respected kuduro artists alongside the likes of Marfox, Nidia, Nigga Fox and Firmeza.
Lycox’s Astral Plane mix exemplifies what Lycox is all about, a 30 minute ride that blows by before you know it and functions as the perfect soundtrack to the melancholic last tendrils of Summer. Heavy on original productions, Lycox links irresistible hook after irresistible hook, bridged by the loping gait of his expertly arranged kuduro rhythms. It’s a breezy selection that performs an idyllic counterpoint to much of kuduro’s sweaty pomp, leaving trace elements of each respective hook as it drives onwards. Pre-order the Sonhos & Pesadelos LP here and dive into Lycox’s Soundcoud for a heap of divine original productions. No track list for this one so you’ll have to look out for the album.
Vinyl 12″ / Digital
Written and produced by DJ Lycox;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released November, 2017;
VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us
A1 – Weekend
A2 – Galinha
A3 – Domingo Abençoado
A4 – Virgin Island
A5 – Nichako
B1 – La Java
B2 – Parabéns Moh Baba
B3 – Quarteto Fantástico
B4 – Sky
B5 – Solteiro
– Ferrero (digital bonus track via Bandcamp only)
– 2855 (digital bonus track via Bandcamp only)
It is now possible to see a big picture. This means there is a timeline with enough years and developments since this sound emerged on its own. Lycox is of course part of a newer generation that keeps adding to the transmission, but he is already inspiring a younger set of producers.
“Sonhos & Pesadelos” helps materialize a multiverse of bold, shiny chrome architecture, staying true to the original kuduro backbone while Lycox organizes new forms, song structures and even artificial life. If you can’t call it “raw” it’s only because this is mental space translated into sound. The physicality of the music is but one element in Lycox’s ambitious take on dance music, although we should really say pop music, such is the melodic and harmonic forces at work. “Solteiro” could be just an ambient beauty but the abnormally long 4-minute mark reveals layers of masterful songcrafting well outside what some might still be tempted to classify as “ethnic”.
Not a classic seaside romance.
Vinyl 12″; individually hand-painted, hand-stamped copies available for the world.
Tia Maria Produções member DJ Lycox goes solo in a big way with debut album Sonhos & Pesadelos for the resoundingly influential Príncipe label. Based in Paris, DJ Lycox pushes a super colourful and hard-edged variant of Lisbon’s batida sound, blending tarraxho rhythms with afro-house, deep house and trap tropes in a singular style. His Sonhos & Pesadelos LP is the 2nd single artist album on Príncipe following release of Nídia’s Nídia É Má, Nídia É Fudida and serves to keep the quality levels ticking high with bountiful variation and party-ready effect between its standout moments such as the tropical drill swerve of Gallinha, suave Ron Trent vibes on Domingo Abençoado, and purely infectious rufige in the likes of Nichako, the almost Gqom-Like darkside banger La Java, and the spine twysting torque of Quarteto Fantástico, with special mention to the UKF compatible Sky.
Boomkat, October 2017
“Solteiro” is an uncharacteristically gentle and pulsating tune that feels — more than anything — romantic in its rhythm. Truth be told, it’s quite beautiful. And it follows lots and lots and lots of heretofore phenomenal music from the label.
Tiny Mix Tapes, October 2017