DJ NIGGA FOX and PRÍNCIPE featured on THUMP / VICE

“O Meu Estilo”, EP de estreia de DJ Nigga Fox, é destacado no Thump, blog ligado à revista Vice e dedicado a música electrónica. Também uma visão mais abrangente do trabalho da editora através de algumas declarações do Pedro (Príncipe). Cliquem no título para aceder ao texto completo.

“O Meu Estilo”, debut EP by DJ Nigga Fox, gets highlighted by Dave Quam for Thump, Vice magazine’s electronic music blog. Also a broader overview of the label’s work via some questions answered by Pedro of Príncipe. Click title to access the full report.

DJ Nigga Fox’s New Record Is As Insane His Name Suggests

By Dave Quam (DJ, writer, and photographer also known as Massacooramaan)

DJ Nigga Fox came to Principe through Marfox, a former high school classmate, who was impressed by his tracks and sent them along to the label. While the earliest Nigga Fox tracks I encountered on Portuguese music site were largely straightforward kuduro, his debut EP runs the gamut of Angolan-derived experimental sounds. On one hand, it’s a spectral Afro house record with melodies that laugh at you as the drums drag you through the walls (see the track “Weed”). On the other, it’s some of the most broken acid house I’ve ever heard outside of Chicago (see “Powerr”). The vibe is eerie, but incredibly dancefloor-positive. “He’s an incredibly intuitive producer, and has a really beautiful and ritualized way of operating on his tracks,” says Gomes, speaking proudly of his involvement in the record. “I have a slight feeling he hasn’t heard Schonberg or Bernard Hermann’s work for Hitchcock, but his string and digital accordion arrangements sound modernist. The tension between tonality and atonality is ridiculous, as is his notion of polyrhythmic balance. It really does blow our minds.”

Aside from “Só Nós 2,” the oddball tarraxo that ends the record, the majority of O Meu Estilo sits somewhere around 130 beats-per-minute, a notch slower than most kuduro. It would be reductive, however, to file the record within the Afro house style that has recently come to the fore. There’s too much slow, ancestral burn to be the former, and too much of a dark edge to be the latter. Nigga Fox carved portholes through those existing realms with his own psychotropic sound.

Those quirky synths and aggressive syncopations aren’t usually welcome in the city’s more cosmopolitan nightclubs, a problem that the Principe founders and label artists have sought to fix. “Nowadays more and more black and white kids dance together, though as with many wonderful things, it’s been a gradual diplomatic process for the shier cases,” says Pedro. Once a month, you can find Fox and his Principe family at Musicbox, a mid-sized downtown Lisbon club that often keeps its doors open until 7AM. Here, local DJs are expected to spin their own productions, rather than just grease the audience with mainstream-approved African music or American hip-hop.

I think a lot about how this music generally gets lumped into some kind of dreaded “world music” realm, and how that effects its place inside the club continuum. Gomes hopes that the artists he works with will be celebrated for their own personalities rather than as some sort of exotic fad. “The artist we work with are all different individuals,” he tells me. “I’m sure their responses will be as diverse as they are.” The Principe Discos crew is in the midst of setting an important precedent for how to bring music like this to a wider audience, and hopefully other labels in the “world music” bubble will take notes. “We wanted to make sure we provided proper context and structure for these incredible producers and DJs to dedicate themselves to this work, because that wasn’t happening,” says Gomes. “The music made in these neighborhoods didn’t leave the neighborhoods. We felt we could contribute to changing that in a gradual and sustainable manner.”

With a combination of game-changing talent like Nigga Fox, and their dedication to the artists, the Principe family is rock-solid. Here’s hoping that more and more of this music makes its way from the hidden corners of the social media sphere to the international spotlight.

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