DJ NIGGA FOX “Um Ano” track review on PITCHFORK

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Nigga Fox Um Ano_Pitchfork

By Philip Sherburne

To foreign ears, the signatures of all these sounds may be hard to identify, but even at their strangest, there’s an uncanny sense of familiarity, too. Loping four-to-the-floor kicks and glancing synthesizer stabs faintly recall styles from closer to home. It sounds almost like techno—if techno were a tower of Jenga blocks that had been knocked over and stacked up in some wild, gravity-defying new formation.
DJ Nigga Fox summed up the situation when he titled his debut EP O Meu Estilo, or My Style, and with his new EP for Lisbon’s Príncipe label, he proves once again that he’s in a league of his own. “Um Ano” (“One Year”) actually sounds made of wooden blocks, as hollow triplets clatter over a booming bass drum that sounds like it might have been carved out of a waterlogged tree trunk. But this is no forest idyll. The melody slips nervously between the notes, like a synthesizer mapped to a game of Chutes and Ladders; at peak moments, reverb flashes on like a tractor beam, freezing everything in its path. The vocals are just a monosyllabic “Oh,” looped into stuttering patterns. They don’t need to say anything; the beat says everything it needs to, even if you don’t know what to call it.

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