PRÍNCIPE featured on TROPICAL BASS.COM

O Tropical Bass fez uma investigação sobre as verdadeiras raízes do que agora se chama Zouk Bass e desconstrói algum do hype que este “género” tem tido. Os nossos homens Pedro e André foram questionados por Caballo (MC, produtor e anarquista colombiano) sobre o assunto. Leiam as respostas mais abaixo e se quiserem ler o artigo completo cliquem na imagem.

Tropical Bass did an investigation about the real roots of what is now known as Zouk Bass and deconstructs some of the hype this “genre” has been receiving. Our guys Pedro and André were asked a couple of questions by Caballo (Colombian MC, producer and anarquist). Answers below, and if you wish to read the full feature just click the image.

Tropical Bass

I decided to ask Principe Discos’ Pedro Gomes and Filho Unico‘s Andre Ferreira to see how was their perception about zouk bass being these two labels the “cradle” of the scene.
How is your perception of this whole new revival:

Principe Discos: Zouk Bass is pretty much just a new “branding” (as they say nowadays) for tarraxinha, which has been going around for a long time now – and everybody in that respect is indebted to DJ Znobia, who invented it.
Locally – in what regards Lisbon – we’re aware that the first few examples of it started around 2006, hence part of the reason (and only part) of why we thought it’d be relevant to digitally reissue the ‘DJ’s do Guetto Vol. 1′ compilation. Tarraxinha was at the time and still is “just” one aspect of the kuduro, batida and afro-portuguese dance music which has been going around for almost a decade here, in a more independent manner and style – not just influenced by Angolan/capeverdian structures, but developing in a manner which is exclusive to Lisbon, in all manners natural and conceivable. A lot of music being done at the time when ‘DJ’s do Guetto Vol. 1′ was released 7 years ago, and to this day is pretty much on its own and has so many variables and progressions that don’t actually have a name – and in our opinion it’s best that it remains like that. Tarraxinha, or zouk bass as people are trying to call it now (in post-modern neo-colonialist fashion), is just one of the styles that have been very much alive in the periphery of Lisbon, in mainly african communities, and again obviously in Angola.
Through our releases, soundcloud activity and in our monthly Príncipe nights at the Lisbon downtown club Musicbox, we’ve had these styles and identities miscigenate with contemporary central Lisbon nightlife, and other new developments have occurred just from the fact that actual ghetto music is now finally and for the first time being celebrated in what were (before we started) predominantly caucasian-frequented clubs. That has broken a number of cultural apartheids on both sides, in a way which is much more consequential than any Benetton-unite-all-races cosmetic operation. It’s actually happening in a true communal, positive, constructive manner – the feedback from all sides concerned in this equation has been phenomenal, and once a month everybody is partying together in what is one of the hottest monthly nights in town – the club is always packed. It has made the music even better, it has motivated a lot of DJs who didn’t have an outlet to play their own productions in a club setting, and has brought back a number of producers who maybe thought there wasn’t any room for them in a more cosmopolitan setting, because it gave all these people concrete evidence that the city loves this music. And the central Lisbon crowd has been dropping their jaws every month at the music they never knew existed, much less that it existed a mere 20 minutes worth of a bus ride away from where they live.

Do you feel colonialism or appropriation now north American and global bass producers are starting to produce more and more zouk bass inspired tracks?

PD: Angolan people started doing tarraxinha – which is what now is called zouk bass, so i think the question should be a put in the opposite way.
What do Angolan people feel about people in Portugal doing tarraxinha? After asking that, you can ask what they think about tarraxinhas, batidas, kuduros that people in Portugal have been doing?
That way we’d actually have a constructive dialogue going on, because we’d be talking in a way which is truthful to the chronology of this music, and would be more focused on what matters – which is the incredible music being done both in Angola and in Lisbon; at least the ones which are contemporary ROOTS music (ie. it’s part of a continuum, of a lineage), and not the watered down post-colonial ghettotech that has circulated more outside of Portugal and Angola.
The only thing Príncipe Discos ever started was a label dedicated to 100% local, real dance music that didn’t have the proper platform to present itself to central Lisbon and Portugal’s main cities, as well as to the rest of the world. We’ve tried to encourage, invest in and defend the incredible music being done here, without ever compromising its core artistic and human characteristics. This music has the power to affirm itself just the way it is – it doesn’t have to concede to any fads or more superficial stylizations. Because it has a history and an enormously rich present and future. This is our investment.

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