CYCLIC DEFROST reviews P010

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NIAGARA review CYCLIC DEFROST

By Bob Baker Fish

Niagara are dirty house, or rough house. Maybe raw house is a better description of this Portuguese group who apparently make their music live even on recordings. I say apparently because it’s house music and surely no one would consider jamming out house music in this day and age. Though to be fair if anyone would even consider it, it would be this Lisbon outfit, signed to one of the most influential underground labels currently in operation, Lisbon’s Principe, who release a ridiculously limited quantity of hand painted 12” vinyl’s that sell out a little too quickly, with even a label of Warp’s stature recently jumping on the bandwagon releasing two 12″ compilations of Principe’s unique Angolan Portuguese electronica.

This is funky repetitive music. It’s mutant disco, punchy and raw, with a darker edge than your run of the mill house music. At times there’s almost a punk funk feel, with a minimal, almost aggressive DIY approach. The edges aren’t as rounded as you’d expect and there’s an urgency lurking within the 4/4 beats. It’s also brimming with unexpected moments of experimental weirdness, like the music is trying to force itself through the rudimentary ingredients. You ask yourself questions that you normally wouldn’t, like are they birds or a synthesizer? The jammy nature gives it both a feeling of momentum and immediacy, which is almost non existent in house music. Who knew house music could be this raw, this urgent, this amazing?

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