Words by Soe Jherwood
Lisbon’s Príncipe Discos entered this calendar year off the back of a relatively quiet (though nonetheless purposeful) 2014. Snap to the present: an impressive bolstering of their catalogue, all-conquering club nights across the globe, and even a string of releases on Warp. It seems like a far cry for such an intensely localized movement, but Príncipe did it by simple virtue of offering up some of 2015’s most captivating dance music, track after track, 12-inch after 12-inch. DJ Nigga Fox, as ever, was responsible for one of the crew’s barmier servings in Noite E Dia, while the likes of CDM, Nidia Minaj, Niagara, DJ Firmeza, Blacksea Não Maya, and Normal Nada all brought their own eccentric touches to the floor. And that’s just the thing; batida, “my beat,” is inherently impulsive and producer-driven, effectively guaranteeing that no one riddim will sound like the next. This music hinges on its own unpredictability, teetering on the threshold between the danceable and maniacal. It’s why it makes a guy from rural England excited just to be able to hear this stuff, and it’s why the world is now paying attention. You could say that 2015 was Príncipe’s finest hour. I have a feeling that there’s plenty more to come.