P016 – DJ NERVOSO – DJ Nervoso
Vinyl 12″ / Digital
Written and produced by DJ Nervoso;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released October, 2016;
VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us
A1 – Vuto
A2 – Ah Ah
A3 – Avacs
B1 – 27aca
B2 – Djj
B3 – KUIA
We can’t stress enough the importance of finally releasing an EP by scene originator DJ Nervoso. This release features newer tracks alongside unreleased older (we should really say Classic) ones, demonstrating the level of perfection he attained early on. Nervoso is the main reason why DJ Marfox, DJ Firmeza and many others started deejaying and producing, hooked on his fiery DJ sets since they were barely in their teens, around 2001-2002.
He is well known for a bare bones approach to rhythm, working the basic hypnotic feel of pounding drums to mesmerizing effect, in his permanent quest to make people move. His sound is meant to unite, not divide, the dancefloor. Even before he started producing, Nervoso was quick to perceive that some people were alienated in parties where Angolan kuduro got played, for the simple reason they didn’t command the specific moves associated with the style or its variations. So his production focused on adapting the beats of this much-loved dance music, changing the codes for a more inclusive experience. Some call it techno.
Vinyl 12″; individually hand-painted, hand-stamped copies available in Portugal only.
Para quem está activo agora na cena musical que gira em torno da Príncipe, DJ Nervoso começou tudo. Foi pouco depois do início do século, e as festas em que tocava tornaram-se lendárias na comunidade, conseguindo ele o privilégio de ser um dos raros DJs a ser requisitado para tocar em diferentes bairros. O nível de intensidade da sua música nem sempre foi bem compreendido, provocando por vezes alguma desordem nas festas. Mas para ele essa música sempre foi uma energia feliz, transbordante. Nervoso adaptou o padrão do kuduro angolano para poder tocar a batida sem alienar as pessoas que não sabiam dançar os passos certos associados ao género. Despiu a estrutura e, como se pode ouvir na sublime “27aca” (quarto clip de som), criou uma espécie de techno com base africana. Ouvimos algumas coisas de, por exemplo, DJ Firmeza e DJ Marfox e percebemos bem melhor o que eles querem dizer quando assumem a influência das batidas do Nervoso. Apesar dos anos e da autoridade, este é o primeiro EP em seu nome. Nervoso foi convidado a entrar na célebre compilação dos DJs Di Gueto em 2006, eles próprios influenciados por ele, juntando-se assim ao seu ídolo, mas a sua abordagem à produção sempre esteve mais ligada às festas em que ia tocar e não tanto ao desejo de reunir música para edições. Ele ri-se e diz que, normalmente, as suas faixas de que as pessoas gostam são as de que ele menos gosta. “Ah Ah” corre a um ritmo mais lento e tem a sua voz, em directo, a acompanhar a batida, parecendo ao mesmo tempo em esforço e alívio. Vão ouvir esta música poderosa feita na nossa terra, achamos que é importante.
Flur, October 2016
We can it on trust that when Príncipe say “We can’t stress enough the importance of finally releasing an EP by… DJ Nervoso” that they really mean it. As a DJ in Lisbon for days, his sets inspired DJ Marfox, DJ Firmeza and many more to take up DJing and production in their teens, so basically the guy deserves a drink from everyone who’s ever danced to their records.
Effectively a mutation of Angolan kuduro made to unite Lisbon’s mosaic of African, Latin and other heritages, DJ Nervoso’s sound is stripped to the bare bones and built to bang in the kinkiest, mesmerising style, putting the ‘floor thru its paces between the knotted funk of Vuto, the grinding dagger of Ah Ah and what sounds like the maddest Chicago jack track you’ve never heard in Avacs, with helplessly infectious stuff in 27aca, the tucked-up techno of Djj, and an outstanding freak called Kuia.
Like most other Príncipes 12”s, and the DJ Marfox compilation, the record is cut at 45rpm, meaning there’s a whole tier of 33rpm fun awaiting the DJs and dancers. TIP!
Boomkat, October 2016
A siren heralds the coming of first track, “Vuto,” which sashays forward with shuffling drums, guttural yelps, and a thick bass line. A shaker provides texture, the track pogoing gleefully, new rhythms appearing and dissolving. Much of the album operates in this modular style of propulsive, lucid minimalism. Nervoso generates drama by varnishing and stripping layers of syncopation and texture from his tracks, revealing works that have been sheared to the bone, sinew and rhythm replacing melody and flesh.
Second track “ah ah” best exemplifies Nervoso’s abraded approach to songwriting. It consists almost entirely of a spine-straightening snare crack, a loping kick, and Nervoso’s vocals. Audacious in its simplicity, it brims with ebullience, its dembow-like sway conveying a levity reserved for the hands of a master. The album’s other tracks hew more closely to recognizable kuduro structures, their skeletal forms morphing into kinked, juddering drum tracks (“djj”) and hypnotic, subterranean excursions (“27aca”). The drums on the latter are particularly mobile, flowing across it like the hands of a masseur, kneading and twisting around the beat, travelling alongside it for a measure before surging off into the distance.
The whole album is suffused with this nomadic, kinetic energy, the sense that, at any second, a track could veer off course, picking up momentum as it launches itself into the ether. One imagines DJ Nervoso tinkering away at his computer, carefully crafting his sonic automata, installing gears and levers, drums and claps, before filling them with current and watching as they duck and weave, jab and feint. Swaying from side to side, these quasi-humanoid tracks — all torso and limb — topple over and right themselves in ever quickening loops, their faces distorted by Nervoso’s pulsing, giddy momentum.
These are virulent, mutant dance tracks, and Nervoso their Dr. Frankenstein. When I saw him go back-to-back with DJ Marfox at Unsound, the sense of joy in the room was palpable; the two producers gleefully looking over each other’s shoulder as they selected the next rhythmic assemblage to unload on the febrile crowd. In a sense, they were staging Nervoso’s original intervention, transmitting kuduro across the generations to kids hungry for something to dance to. There’s pleasure to be found in the contamination.
Tiny Mix Tapes, October 2016
He’s one of the most underrated DJs on the planet, and these 5 grooves tell you everything you need to know. There’s hardly anything to them- just sets of Fruity Loops drum patterns marching on and on in with zero fucking about. He’s barely bothered to process his hits, there’s a minimum happening at any point, and somehow the result is hard, knocking dance music that could wake the dead. If you’re getting sick of fussy production and tracks built from tricks more than ideas, Nervoso is the antidote.
The Ransom Note, November 2016
In the near mythical folklore surrounding Lisbon’s Principe Discos, a DIY label celebrating the raw urban electronic Kuduro, batida, kizomba, funaná and Afro house influenced music that evolved in Lisbon’s outer suburbs, Nervoso stands tall. Whilst Marfox is generally credited with being the main instigator of the scene, Nervoso was there back in the day influencing the likes of Marfox and appearing on the 2006 compilation DJ’s Do Guetto (which you can download for free here) He also appeared on the 3rd volume of Warp’s Cargaa series with a dense relentless slab of conflicting percussion on ‘Buzizz,’ yet it’s somewhat of a surprise that now, so far down the track we’re finally seeing his debut solo outing.
Nervoso likes his percussion, and doesn’t need much else, as the six songs here, clocking in at 20 odd minutes in total, are wonky unsettling rhythmic workouts with minimal extraneous ingredients. Occasionally there’s a hilarious repetitive vocal sample saying “Ah Ah,” such as on ‘Ah Ah’, a bit of bass here and a siren there, but in the main, it’s percussion, sampled hand percussion and electronic beats. Most of his sounds feel culled from a techno music sample library, though whilst Nervoso is no doubt tipping his hat to this world, his stuttering beats, odd cadences and peculiar time signatures, alongside colliding, near incongruous rhythmic patterns keep everything joyfully off kilter and uncertain.
The most interesting piece is the final ‘Kuia,’ and it’s also his also his most diverse, and though it barely gets above a canter, the beats evolve, swing, and even the implementation of some strange pitches of sound that are vaguely reminiscent of farmyard animals from kids keyboards still manages to end up with this really seductive stilted groove. Like much of Nervoso’s music it almost feels like a challenge he’s given himself, by beginning with a cold difficult near grooveless snare, then it’s up to him to slowly breathe life into the track. And it’s incredible how Nervoso and many of his compatriots seem to be able to make challenging fascinating and unexpected dance music from the simplest of ingredients.
This is the kind of music that makes you wonder if you’re playing it at the wrong speed, it’s a deconstruction of electronic music, where it has been disassembled and pieced back together a little wrong, leaving the listener feeling more than a little bit, confused, energized and Nervoso.
Cyclic Defrost, November 2016