Vinyl 12″ / Digital
Written and produced by P. Adrix;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released February, 2018;
VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us
A1 – Zelda Shyt
A2 – Bola de Cristal
A3 – 6.6.6
A4 – Estação de Queluz
A5 – Ovni
B1 – Abertura da Roda
B2 – Sonhos
B3 – Tejo
B4 – Viva La Raça
Adrix (P stands for Produtor) is one of those contemporary puzzles: born and raised in Lisbon, of Angolan descent, he moved to Manchester at 19, three years ago. We can say the nervous interplay between bass and beat stems from just that. Fierce, techy, twitchy grooves run through the whole of “Álbum Desconhecido”. It’s in the blood. Not surprisingly, Adrix has a soft spot for drum n bass but that’s because it clicked with the adrenalin rush leaping out of kuduro, his true long-standing obsession. The shiny synth washes on a track such as “Viva La Raça” come from that place in the future where everything is that bit more synthetic, kind of dangerous and uncertain, and then there’s a glimpse of Portugal in “Tejo”, soulful, real, imagined. As are the dreamy tones of “Estação de Queluz”, an actual suburban train station that will probably never again be glorified with such love.
But we feel we need to stay close to the jaw-dropping moment when we first heard his music and that can be defined by the title “Ovni”. We are not creating, we are transmitting. What do we know? “So that at last, as though out of some trivial and unimportant region beyond even distance, the sound of it seems to come slow and terrific and without meaning, as though it were a ghost travelling a half mile ahead of its own shape. ‘That far within my hearing before my seeing,’ Lena thinks.” Light in August, William Faulkner
Vinyl 12”; individually hand-painted, hand-stamped copies available for the world.
Príncipe kick off 2018 in a big way with the remarkable début by P. (as in ‘Producer’) Adrix; a 22 year old artist originally from Lisbon, now based in Manchester, who is equally adept at crafting full tilt, teched-out bangers as effervescent electronic soul music. His first release, Álbum Desconhecido is a supreme example of the innovative scenius in Angolan-Portuguese music, ratcheting the thrilling dynamics of Lisbon’s ghetto bass sound with deadly edits and pressure highly compatible with the UK’s jump-up jungle, drill or soca grime vibes.
Building on ground-breaking work forwarded by producer/DJs Marfox, Nervoso, Nídia and Lycox in recent years, Álbum Desconhecido is jaw-droppingly fresh, even by Príncipe’s up-to-the-second standards. And like Lycox, who hails from Angola and Lisbon via France, it’s fair to say that P. Adrix’s relative detachment from Lisbon has also led him to break the kuduro mould in scintillating new ways, effectively mapping out and recombining a glowing flux of ideas circulating the Black Atlantic diaspora.
Delivered in 9 short sharp stings between the seasick drill of Zelda Shyt and the laser-guided trance lixx of Viva La Raça, Adrix trades in a mix of virulent, adrenalised energy and soulful rollige that sets fire to any ‘floor across the breadth of Álbum Desconhecido. It’s clear and present in the turbulent, rug-pulling subs and febrile polyrhythms of Bola De Cristal, and to blinding degrees in the high-wire tension and bone-freezing edits of 6.6.6, whereas the zipping flutes of Ovni bind roots and future with breathtaking, needlepoint incision, leaving Sonhos to provide a dead sweet, even romantic contrast with the melancholic meditation of Tejo for fine measure.
After encountering Álbum Desconhecido, there can be little doubt that Adrix is making some of the most exciting dance music in the world right now – a boldly expressive and immediately effective sound that drives listeners to a rare but timeless sort of rave ecstasy – thrillingly synthetic and infused with an unmistakeable lust for the dance. In the right hands, it’s dangerous stuff. You’ve been warned!
Boomkat, February 2018
Adrix vai parecer aos ingleses como um produto de influência doméstica, uma vez que eles está baseado em Manchester há 3 anos. Misteriosos são os caminhos da batida de Lisboa. Em “Bola De Cristal”, a linha de baixo pode lembrar UK mas os pratos são de outro continente e o elemento de tarraxo infiltrado no meio do espaço sónico é também indubitavelmente outra geografia. O fluir nervoso da linha de baixo nas faixas neste mini-álbum é talvez o elemento que unifica a assinatura do Produtor Adrix. Tudo o resto é extraído da sua interpretação muito pessoal de kuduro e é livre de constrangimentos. Um ambiente quase romântico como o de “Estação De Queluz” parece reescrever a atmosfera da Linha de Sintra para uma experiência de melancolia e saudade. Essa reforçada em “Tejo”, cujo corte de guitarra bem claro pode ser uma verdadeira ode à tradição sem precisar de samplar melodias de Carlos Paredes. “Álbum Desconhecido” encerra a explicação de si mesmo no sentido em que a produção de Adrix não é bem comparável nem com o catálogo anterior da Príncipe nem com material editado com o qual tenhamos contactado. Que força, aqui.
Flur, February 2018
Mind bending, fearless blend of Kuduro & Grime derivatives – pure beat science 2nd to none
Hardwax, February 2018
The seemingly endless pool of talent at the core of the Príncipe label turns in possibly its most dynamically fwd focused release yet with Álbum Desconhecido by P. Adrix.
Across 21 odd minutes, the Lisbon raised but currently Manchester based producer turns in some of the most deadly transfixions of grime, techno and bass we’ve heard in recent years.
Opener Zelda Shyt perfectly sets the scene with the sort of shank riddims that made all of Danny Weed’s early 00’s productions such vital wax. Estação De Queluz mixes up some very DIY Rain Treanor percussion with tears in the club pads. While Viva La Raça snakes towards 2 step mode, yet sees it falling into some dazzling, euphoric catchment areas. Top it all off with a generous amount of P. Adrix bars and you have another excellent release on Príncipe.
Bleep, February 2018
Nídia em Bordéus, Lycox em Paris, P. Adrix em Manchester: o catálogo da Príncipe não é apenas uma clara montra da batida de Lisboa, é igualmente um mapa da diáspora. A disseminação global do som que a nossa “afro Lisboa” viu nascer sob tantos olhares desconfiados sobre a sua validade estética é uma realidade que resulta de ambição artística — certamente — mas também uma objectiva consequência das naturais necessidades dos que habitam as periferias: não apenas geográficas, mas também sociais ou culturais. Parece haver apenas duas opções: tomar de assalto o centro ou tentar a sorte noutro subúrbio, noutra equação, noutra realidade.
E talvez isso explique a melancolia que atravessa Álbum Desconhecido que P. Adrix agora apresenta na Príncipe e que desemboca no oblíquo assomo fadista de “Tejo”, tema que abre o último terço do alinhamento e que se faz de um loop de cordas que são tão digitais quanto de aço, tão reais quanto imaginadas. Consequência de uma saudade alimentada pela distância? Mais do que provável. Mas tudo isso acontece porque, como será possível até certo ponto inferir pelos títulos, muitos destes temas funcionam como “retratos”: senão de lugares (“Tejo”, “Estação de Queluz”), talvez de momentos (“Zelda Shyt”, “Abertura de Roda”), de sentimentos (“Viva La Raça”) ou emoções (“Ovni”, “Sonhos”).
O “P.” que precede Adrix, esclarece-nos logo na sua abertura o texto que serve de apresentação de Álbum Desconhecido na plataforma Bandcamp, é inicial da palavra Produtor. Poderemos ver na utilização desse designativo o vincar de uma diferença em relação a muitos dos outros artistas do catálogo que não abdicam do prefixo DJ nas suas identidades artísticas (DJ Marfox, DJ Nigga Fox, DJ Lycox, DJ Firmeza…). Ou seja, um criador menos atraído pela gestão da eficácia para a pista de dança e mais interessado na exploração das possibilidades discursivas ao seu alcance? Talvez. O que não significa que P. Adrix descarte por completo a procura de eficácia de pista nas suas criações: logo no tema de abertura, “Zelda Shyt”, o jovem de 22 anos que aos 19 anos se estabeleceu em Inglaterra, procura demonstrar que apesar de ter a cabeça no espaço, a sua música nunca se afasta em demasia da órbita do planeta kuduro, ainda que a sua trajectória elíptica o possa trazer mais perto ou levar para longe da sua força gravitacional. Como acontece, por exemplo, no belíssimo “Estação de Queluz”, que no seu desenho melódico de tons menores revela uma natural saudade de momentos certamente especiais, provavelmente vividos com amigos. E lá está a psicogeografia periférica a assumir um lugar distinto neste tal mapa que o catálogo Príncipe também desenha.
A parte final do álbum, com “Sonhos”, primeiro, “Tejo”, logo depois, mas também “Viva La Raça”, representa o mais importante depósito de tons nostálgicos que pontuam todo o alinhamento. São temas em que o “produtor” assume o comando, com uma óbvia ambição narrativa e discursiva. Adrix não quer apenas agitar a pista, quer também ilustrar os filmes que rodam na sua cabeça e consegue-o com momentos de uma singular beleza: “Sonhos” flutua, literalmente, nos nossos ouvidos, mercê de um arranjo etéreo que parece capaz de nos elevar uns quantos centímetros acima do chão. E “Tejo”, como já sugerido, parece querer agarrar numa ideia tradicional de Lisboa e projectá-la no futuro, como se os Dead Combo de repente colaborassem num tema original com Jlin depois de saírem de madrugada de uma noite Príncipe no Cais do Sodré. O tríptico conclui-se com “Viva La Raça” que ao kick insistente contrapõe uma flauta moldada pela força do MIDI a um crescendo que poderíamos descrever como épico ou dramático.
É um ponto final perfeito para um álbum conciso, mas a transbordar de ideias, a que se regressa uma e outra vez com idêntica e renovada paixão porque há sempre um novo ângulo, um novo gancho que nos segura e nos agarra. Na versão digital há mais um tema bónus a considerar, um autêntico “Tornado” em que a “dikanza” da funda identidade angolana de Adrix é projectada no espaço sideral numa autêntica explosão rítmica a que é impossível resistir.
O catálogo da Príncipe, como o universo de resto, continua a expandir-se, não apenas em tamanho, mas também em ideias válidas para o futuro, fundamentais para o presente. A de P. Adrix resulta num Álbum Desconhecido, mas perfeitamente acessível.
Rimas E Batidas, February 2018
I mean, P. Adrix’s new album just wants you to move, wherever you could be, in whatever sphere of unnameability that haunts you or whatever iteration that recurs in your life, binding it into poetry. However your life fits or chafes against the context of Album Desconhecido’s syntax, however it produces tiny kinks in the flow — like a calcium deposit in a kidney — just move, even if only glancingly. For from there, in that sphere of untouchability, and within that movement, can we, like the name of this album, become, somehow, unknown.
The attraction of these kuduro tracks lies in how they specifically draw attention to how danceable they are, but also how they are rough and jagged and irregular and encoded onto streets and embedded into walls and strewn forth onto cellphones, with no true center for where they exist except the Bandcamp page from which they came and the computer from which they were birthed. Maybe a couple of suburbs of big cities like Lisbon and Luanda could potentially be the cultural center, but they are not, for P. Adrix lives in Manchester. That this album participates in a cultural maelstrom also means that it comes from that same maelstrom — that of the digitally disconnected bodies of producers and dancers and DJs and little kids kicking a soccer ball with this playing on a cellphone and the music enthusiasts in the nightclub listening to this, heads moving, feet moving, eyes in a trance.
It sounds sometimes swampy, or crumply, like a composition notebook dragged onto concrete and forced into a nightclub, or a poster ripped off from its wall and turned into a drum kit. “Viva la Raça” sounds more angelic and lofty than the others, mostly because of its timbre, which sounds tranquil and made of air, or feathers, or whatever material an angel’s wings would be made of — perhaps the hair of God? What binds these tracks is their lack of any true crescendo or climax or conclusion: they just kind of exist, do what they need to do for a couple of minutes, and end, like a spermatozoid that’s lost its way and doesn’t dare ask directions. Any kind of simulation of the Divine or lofty critique of the Establishment will be left for the other music critics to decode. For me, their remote denseness suits us, and the obsolescence of P. Adrix points toward the idea that, in the nightclub, your status means nothing to the music.
Tiny Mix Tapes, March 2018
For tight-knit crews like Príncipe Discos, proximity is everything. Rooted on the outskirts of Lisbon, the niche label of DJs and producers has invigorated the city’s underground dance-music scene by drawing international attention to batida, the percussive, polyrhythmic sound popularized by immigrants from war-torn Angola and other former Portuguese colonies. Príncipe has expanded cautiously, in an effort to protect the community sound from exploitation and appropriation. So what happens when an artist relocates and the collective is forced to relax its grip? In the case of P. Adrix, a young producer who moved from Lisbon to Manchester, England, in 2015, the answer is Álbum Desconhecido, a riveting debut with a dual-citizen sensibility. Selectively fusing his native batida with elements of jungle, grime, and drum ‘n’ bass, he deftly links two hotbeds of electronic music and creates something entirely new.
Conceived in Lisbon’s vast slums and suburbs, batida is a hybrid of traditional African rhythms—Angolan kuduro, kizomba, and zouk, among others—and contemporary electronic dance music. It gained traction in 2012 as Príncipe waded into block parties boasting minimal equipment and big beats. The sound is marked by frantic synths and fierce, choppy drum patterns, its turbulence and dizzying repetition reflecting Lisbon’s tumultuous political climate. As Príncipe co-founder Pedro Gomes told Pitchfork in 2014, “We were looking for contemporary manifestations and evolutions of Angolan and Verdean music that reacted to being from there and now living here.”
But just as emigration from Luanda to Lisbon turned kuduro into batida, so the sound has continued to evolve as it has been carried out of Portugal and into new countries. Nowhere is this happening as radically or artfully as on Desconhecido, which rounds up all of the original ingredients and bakes them in enthralling new forms. It’s reassuring to see Príncipe broadening its horizons; the label has recently supported more experimental projects, like DJ Nigga Fox’s longform acid 12-inch and the unexpected melodies DJ Lycox unveiled in a mix for the Astral Plane. The traditional rhythms underpinning batida still inform these releases, but they no longer exclusively define them. The same can be said for Desconhecido. Moving at a breakneck pace, Adrix takes listeners on a rollercoaster of twitchy techno, whinnying flutes, furious breakbeats, and sensual soul.
Pitchfork, March 2018
Vinyl 12″ / Digital
Written and produced by DJ Lycox;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released November, 2017;
VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us
A1 – Weekend
A2 – Galinha
A3 – Domingo Abençoado
A4 – Virgin Island
A5 – Nichako
B1 – La Java
B2 – Parabéns Moh Baba
B3 – Quarteto Fantástico
B4 – Sky
B5 – Solteiro
– Ferrero (digital bonus track via Bandcamp only)
– 2855 (digital bonus track via Bandcamp only)
It is now possible to see a big picture. This means there is a timeline with enough years and developments since this sound emerged on its own. Lycox is of course part of a newer generation that keeps adding to the transmission, but he is already inspiring a younger set of producers.
“Sonhos & Pesadelos” helps materialize a multiverse of bold, shiny chrome architecture, staying true to the original kuduro backbone while Lycox organizes new forms, song structures and even artificial life. If you can’t call it “raw” it’s only because this is mental space translated into sound. The physicality of the music is but one element in Lycox’s ambitious take on dance music, although we should really say pop music, such is the melodic and harmonic forces at work. “Solteiro” could be just an ambient beauty but the abnormally long 4-minute mark reveals layers of masterful songcrafting well outside what some might still be tempted to classify as “ethnic”.
Not a classic seaside romance.
Vinyl 12″; individually hand-painted, hand-stamped copies available for the world.
Tia Maria Produções member DJ Lycox goes solo in a big way with debut album Sonhos & Pesadelos for the resoundingly influential Príncipe label. Based in Paris, DJ Lycox pushes a super colourful and hard-edged variant of Lisbon’s batida sound, blending tarraxho rhythms with afro-house, deep house and trap tropes in a singular style. His Sonhos & Pesadelos LP is the 2nd single artist album on Príncipe following release of Nídia’s Nídia É Má, Nídia É Fudida and serves to keep the quality levels ticking high with bountiful variation and party-ready effect between its standout moments such as the tropical drill swerve of Gallinha, suave Ron Trent vibes on Domingo Abençoado, and purely infectious rufige in the likes of Nichako, the almost Gqom-Like darkside banger La Java, and the spine twysting torque of Quarteto Fantástico, with special mention to the UKF compatible Sky.
Boomkat, October 2017
“Solteiro” is an uncharacteristically gentle and pulsating tune that feels — more than anything — romantic in its rhythm. Truth be told, it’s quite beautiful. And it follows lots and lots and lots of heretofore phenomenal music from the label.
Tiny Mix Tapes, October 2017
Absolutely killer debut album from one of the Principe’s most on it producers DJ Lycox, following on from an inclusion on Warp’s first Cargaa 12″ and credits on one of the scenes finest releases to date, Tá Tipo Já Não Vamos Morrer by Tia Maria Produções.
Across its twelve track duration, DJ Lycox’s excellent Sonhos & Pesadelos manages to dilute all manner of sounds from first wave funky, Kuduro, elements of deep house, jagged techno, new age grime and even what sounds like a violin to make a fast-paced trip through the truly innovative soundworld that makes Principe such a powerful force.
Aiming for a similar approach to production aimed squarely at the dancefloor as the recent Errorsmith LP on PAN, Sonhos & Pesadelos takes elements of classic club records but mixes them with a left of center approach, adding a much-needed layer of oddball mentality to these somewhat saturated genres.
Once you wrap your ears around this one you will instantly recognize how easy it is to spot a Lycox production from a mile off, his sequencing just cuts through everything else. Leaving you short of breath from its organic, and spiky melodic textural reduction of the classic sounds that feed into this next level music.
Bleep, November 2017
Anyone looking for the syncopated rhythms, lazer synths and militant attitude of kuduro should go straight to “La Java.” (Surely it’s no coincidence that there’s a Paris nightclub of the same name.) “Nichako,” the other standout, underlines Lycox’s similarities with gqom, the South African style of house. There’s an almost Balearic swing to “Domingo Abençoado,” while “Sky”‘s 4/4 and melody of strings could be disco house, until a jumble of extra percussion tumbles in. Angolan genres like kizomba and tarraxinha no doubt inform Lycox’s approach. His ear for odd melodies suits his bright palette, which maintains pop intrigue while remaining unconventional, intriguing and occasionally confusing.
Resident Advisor, November 2017
Vinyl LP / CD / Digital
Written and produced by Nídia;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released July, 2017;
VINYL/CD/DIGITAL: Order from us
A1 – Mulher Profissional
A2 – Biotheke
A3 – Underground
A4 – House Musik Dedo
A5 – Puro Tarraxo
B1 – I Miss My Ghetto
B2 – Toma
B3 – Brinquedo
B4 – É da Banda
B5 – Arme
B6 – Indian
CD – Kilobo (CD bonus track)
CD – Shane Hoah (CD bonus track)
CD – Sinistro (CD bonus track)
“One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation, compassion”, Simone de Beauvoir once offered. Nídia has embraced as much as conducted her path on earth so far by means of her senses and her acute intuition, learning from the positive and negative sides of experience, contemplating the marvel of the human spirit, ever inspired by her own curiosity for the unveiled. Her music sounds to us as the perfect expression of her attitude in life.
More than appropriate intro titled “Mulher Profissional”. It’s a shout of empowerment, setting the pace for what is indeed a highly energized album. Listen closely and you will spot production skills that are beyond the standard of dance music genres, running wild but with a definite sense of purpose. This sounds like Africa taken (further more) into the future by command of a rogue mind – we’ll save you the thrill of translating the album’s title.
The hint of nostalgia possibly detected on a title such as “I Miss My Guetto” is quickly obliterated by a sort of hunger for the future, what’s to come, but also what’s already bubbling feverishly. It’s as if Nídia is hit from every side and everything is so exciting that she just has to incorporate all manner of sights and sounds into her productions.
Tracks are kept generally short. They are strong, compact entities that announce the coming of something else – “Biotheke”, for example, soundtracks a parade of Tripods if such an event could fit the narrative in “War Of The Worlds”.
The LP ends – whenever the listener chooses – with the locked groove ‘Indian’. The CD version has 3 bonus tracks, including recent live favorite, the slow & sensuous burning ’Sinistro’.
Vinyl LP; individually hand-painted, hand-stamped copies available on Bandcamp and Portugal only.
While Nidia’s two previous EPs and handful of Soundcloud singles painted a portrait of an artist more than capable of making head-spinning, polyrhythmic tunes, “Sinistro” debuts her more understated side. There’s not much motion in “Sinistro”—its primary parts just a looping click, unadorned kick drums, and sweltering whisper—generate an unbelievable amount of atmosphere.There are no peak or valleys, just this unchanging soundwave. “Sinistro” doesn’t draw you in not by virtue of its rhythm or groove, because it has almost neither of those qualities. Rather, the song shows that Nidia’s music, magnetic as it is, no longer needs to fit into the grid of the dance floor, and can exist all in its own space.
Pitchfork, June 2017
Many of the album’s track stand at less than three minutes in length, offering brief, but sharp shots of energy, the intensity rarely letting up. Opener ‘Mulher Profissional’ sounds like baile funk as reimagined by the Príncipe crew, acting as a fitting introduction to the dizzying heights that are to come. Those already primed on the label’s sound will find lots to enjoy in this record, while those not quite so in tune with Lisbon’s most vital current club sound will soon be brought up to speed as tracks like ‘Biotheke’ and ‘Underground’ roll through with the kind of drums so synonymous with Príncipe’s roster. The latter’s coda finds the producer bringing the label’s sound together with early ‘00s R&B, much in the same way as a number of grime experimenter did in the last decade to birth the r’n’g movement. I doubt there will be many more infectious club records than this released this year.
The Quietus, June 2017
When Príncipe’s grande dame kicks off Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida with a track called ‘Mulher Profissional’ (‘Professional Woman’ in English), you know she means business. When she includes a Simone de Beauvoir quote in the album’s press release, you know she’s not to be fucked with.
Nídia’s first full-length goes way beyond consolidating her previous tarraxinha and batida-spun work into a coherent whole. Instead, it mines an even wider variety of influences, touching on everything from boom bap and balearic to deconstructed club and hoover bass. Her unmistakable taut looped drums are still a force to be reckoned, with some of the album’s best moments built around ideas of repetition and precision, but there’s also a mysticism that wafts around its darker corners, betraying an almost devotional fervor.
FACT, June 2017
Its title translates loosely as “Nídia is bad, Nídia is dope.” (That’s “bad,” of course, in the “not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good” sense of the term.) The opening track is all swagger: Insistent horn fanfare, rattling percussion, the defiant cry of “Mulher Profissional!” (“Professional woman!”)—as defiant as a fighter’s ring-walk anthem, it’s a triumphant way for the 20-year-old musician to declare that she is all business. What follows this brassy intro is a succession of short, devastatingly kinetic tracks. Most of them are well under three minutes long, full of brittle percussion samples, mind-bendingly complex syncopations, and rapid-fire synth bursts, as though someone had tossed a brick of firecrackers onto a Korg factory assembly line. To listeners familiar with DJ Marfox, Nigga Fox, Firmeza, and other Príncipe musicians, Nídia’s music won’t sound completely alien. But much of the album is imbued with a tough, almost confrontational tone, a not-to-be-fucked-with vibe that is hers alone.
Her rhythms are unusually intricate. “Biotheke” rides a complicated drum groove that feels perpetually on the verge of collapse as it traces its tornado-like path through a mess of metal and wood. In “É da Banda,” the clattering drum sounds seem almost random at first; it’s only when the kick asserts its gravitational pull that all the elements fall into place. Stripped of everything but snapping drums and a high-pitched, hiccupping refrain, it makes for a dazzling display of her rhythmic skills. What’s most striking about her music, though, is her use of dissonance. A handful of sharp, key-clashing sounds lent 2015’s Danger EP an extra hint of menace, but here they definitively become her signature. The eerie, haunted-carousel melody of “Biotheke” sets into stark relief the tune’s clanging percussion and deadweight bass riffs. “Mulher Profissional” is a riot of tinny frequencies and stabbing motions; “Arme” bristles with needling tones, vocal shots pitched a half-tone apart, and a piercing melody that sounds like a tape being fast-forwarded.
The slow, grinding “Puro Tarraxo” is a good example of the mind-bending complexity of her approach. Over an almost dembow like groove, the sounds pile up: high-pitched, staccato vocal samples; video-game bleeps; a harsh, buzzing sound that splits the stereo field wide open. In between these hard, bright tones, a weird, modal melody dances in circles, all but invisible amid a collection of elements so shrill they could set your teeth on edge. It sometimes seems like the main organizing principle of her music is the lattice of crisscrossing lasers found in Hollywood bank vaults: Getting inside is tricky business, indeed.
But there’s also a softer side to her music. In one of the album’s finest tracks, “Underground,” her fondness for dissonance yields fluttering, guitar-like chords jumbled up with jagged synths, a balance of soft tone clusters and sharp angles as tactile as a fistful of dandelion tufts and broken glass. And on “I Miss My Ghetto,” brooding piano chords apply the brakes to runaway drums and breakneck syncopations—the rare moment of introspection from a young artist who clearly seems more interested in moving forward than looking back. It’s also a suggestion that, no matter how far batida travels, it’s not likely to forget its roots.
Pitchfork, July 2017
Since that electrifying Danger 12” she really left us hanging, with only Pra Fachar and the raucous Festive delivered on compilations in the meantime to keep us sated. Now, after carving up clubs and festivals all over the shop, she’s followed her nose and fed that energy into a battery of unpretentious, hard-hitting and bittersweet aces; a full clip of short sharp shocks designed to be flung in and out of DJ sets and light up BBQs and parties with infectiously driven rhythms and stinging, hi-tension rhythmelodies. You want highlights? Run come get ‘em in the maaaad synths of Biotheke and militant snares of Shane Noah; from the trampling force of Toma; in the hard but homesick melancholy of I Miss My Ghetto; and especially in those super succinct shots of wrapped vocals such as Indian and Mulher Profissional, and the lip-bitingly strong grind of Puro Tarraxho. Biggest tip to fans of killer new dance music!!!
Boomkat, July 2017
3x Vinyl 7″ / Digital
Written and produced by K30, DJ Ninoo, Puto Anderson;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released June, 2017;
VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us
A1 – K30 – Era Uma Ve(z)
A2 – K30 – Hora da Casa
B1 – K30 – Sistema
B2 – K30 – Melodias do K30
C1 – DJ NinOo – Ambientes Leves
D1 – DJ NinOo – Saudades do Russel
E1 – Puto Anderson – Éh Brincadeira
F1 – Puto Anderson – Gritos do Infinito
Txiga means something like “come close” and that takes us right into the heart of the matter. Although especially apparent in the tarraxo style they are so connected to, the expression reveals unbounded enthusiasm for music, taken from the roots up, wherever the feeling projects it to. And so we felt this crew had to come across in a special way. Three seven inch records, one for each of the main producers (Wayne is kept as a reserve), represent three branches of the same tree.
The 4 tracks produced by K30 explore a more synthetic approach to the syncopated PALOP sound of the streets, a sort of avant-garde technoid expression of the batida identity. Sparse atmospheres, exotic percussion punches and something of a minimalist nature. “Melodias Do K30” bring in more drama but also a casual production method assumed as such – check the false ending.
OK, DJ NinOo, with ondulating Oo’s and that’s exactly what it feels like when you get to the end of the spacey, romantic “Ambientes Leves”, an outstanding slow jam guaranteed to keep those rainy days happy. The extra heavy bassline pairs up with circular synth waves for a sweet and sour atmosphere nothing else than unique. Then comes “Saudades Do Russel”, a loving dedication in house tempo and sporting a complex, nostalgic keys workout.
We chose two old cuts by Puto Anderson that might seem to limit the perspective regarding his production, but these actually push us back to the sort of raw ground zero where the whole batida substance has evolved from. Heavy, minimal, aggressive and happy in a way most os us can only try to grasp. The relentless, gritty groove on both tracks comes from another era to fall flat on the centre of the dancefloor and keep things tight.
3x Vinyl 7″; individually hand-painted, hand-stamped copies available worldwide.
Personally, I relish the temporary room for a little quick cardio brought about by a fortuitously empty lift, so I don’t really blame Portuguese dance music trio Firma do Txiga for leaving some breathing room between one another on their very first self-titled release for the Lisbon-based Príncipe label (whose stated mission, btw, is to release “100% real contemporary dance music coming out of this city, its suburbs, projects & slums”).
Basically, any prior assumptions that members of a band need actually “play music in the same room with one another” need to be reevaluated after hearing this record — because K30, DJ NinOo, and Puto Anderson are doing things somewhat “detached” for this first go-‘round (nobody likes to feel hot breath on their neck while they’re producing hot beats, I suppose). The album — which arrives digitally on June 16 — takes the form of three 7-inch records, each of which is dedicated to music from just one single band member.
You get the impression from listening to some of the Firma do Txiga’s sample tracks down below that the group name could’ve been used and nobody would’ve been the wiser (excepting Puto’s DJ call), but at least this way we get to play the fun musicological game of trying to pick out the proclivities of each of these talented newcomers on an individual level. It’s time for a little granular musical analysis, everybody!
Tiny Mix Tapes, April 2017
K30’s sparse synthetic style is the most intriguing. He renders kuduro’s stumbling rhythms in cold metallic tones, and offers jolts of the bizarre: melodies that wander like drunken spiders and “Era Uma Ve(z)”‘s spatters of dissonant chords. “Hora Da Casa” and “Sistema” make use of ear-tickling water-drop percussion. The former, with its stop-start drums and icy organ melody, is the better of the two. The highlight, “Melodias Do K30,” follows K30’s techno-like sound choices to their logical conclusion, pairing the familiar stumbling rhythm with dappled chords straight out of a dub techno track.
DJ NinOo charms by more conventional means. “Ambientes Leves” drops to a slower, hip-winding tarraxinha beat, and drips with luscious melody. “Saudades Do Russel” is even better, pairing an exquisite lead line with featherlight percussion. Puto Anderson’s record could hardly be more different. His two tracks are apparently older, and the label describes them as a kind of “raw ground zero” for the Afro-Portuguese sound. Their merciless barrages of scraped percussion, whistles and shakers loop frantically for four minutes apiece, making for intense listening. Of the two, “Gritos Do Infinito” has more spark thanks to its flickering rhythms and a bewildering vocal breakdown.
Resident Advisor, June 2017
Beautifully presented, in a hand-painted slipcase: brilliant, wildly contrasting iterations of Lisbon’s batida sound, by three members of the ‘Come Close’ collective. K30’s palop style is freely expressive, rootsily futuristic and rhythmically complex, with tough, evocative percussion and lute. Techno potatoheads should check Melodias.
NinOo’s sides are hazy with longing, shot through with light — laying unpredictable synths and limber, tasty drumming over old-school house aesthetics. Hypnotic and mad-for-it, two Puto Anderson onslaughts rock hardcore clean off its hinges. Terrific stuff.
Honest Jon’s, June 2017
After shots dispatched on the Cargaa 3 and Mambos Levis D’Outro Mundo compilations, K30 steps to his solo debut plate with the most mercurial vibes of all three. A-side he explores “a more synthetic approach to the syncopated PALOP sound of the streets, a sort of avant-garde technoid expression of the bated identity” with four mercurial grooves dancing from the plasmic string licks and syrupy bump of Era Uma Ve(z) to curdled organ riffs and nimble drums in Hora da Casa and one rot the oddly stark turn of System and the BIG highlight of warped techno chords, thizzing pads and brittle shuffle in Melodias do K30.
DJ NinOo follows with a deeply sweet but rugged pair on his plate, forming a perfect introduction tot he world at large with the Moments In Love-styled choral voices and downtempo romance of Ambientes Leves backed by the wistfully dusky and up-shuffled bustle of Saudades do Russel, before Puto Anderson charges up the final plate with two archival zingers; the hypnotic pressure of Éh Brincadira and the completely inimitable, scuffling woodblock cadence and parry of Gritos do Infinito, which is surely one of the maddest, distinctive grooves we’ve heard in years. A total no brainer, this. Highly recommended!
Boomkat, June 2017
Written and produced by DJ Nigga Fox;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released February, 2017;
VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us
A1 – 15 Barras
“15 Barras” is a musical track Nigga Fox made for an art installation with Príncipe that eventually fell through on the commissionership’s end. This long form composition is a first for the Luanda born, Lisboa resident, which he architected from scratch on his blank FL canvas without any specific conceptual gage in mind.
Marfa Journal asked him last year what was his secret ‘to making it [his music] sound so good’. He simply replied: “Imagination.”
Vinyl 12″; individually hand-stamped copies available via Bandcamp only.
Produced as the soundtrack to an unrealized installation, “15 Barras” is a 15-minute track pressed as a one-sided 12-inch. That’s different to how Rogério Brandão, AK DJ Nigga Fox, usually does things. Brandão often has an eye on the dance floor, but “15 Barras” is more exploratory. Followers will be familiar with its elements—chopped vocals, tense percussion and a stripped-down sensibility—but there are also unexpected sounds, like noisy passages that swell alongside loops and droning strings.
The piece’s most interesting aspect is its movement through at least four distinct passages. The first and shortest consists of vocals and synth hits, and could be the intro of one of his club tracks. But instead of kuduro syncopation, “15 Barras” evolves into a drumless acid cut. It then eases into an anxious, rhythmic, cinematic jumble, which transforms into a playful, rickety dub with a clanking beat. “15 Barras” may not have been presented as originally envisioned, but it’s provided an outlet for Brandão to stretch out as an artist.
Resident Advisor, February 2017
Sequenced vocal clips collide to become a chant while a consistent gurgle builds below. There’s a steady sense of certainty that emerges from the acid. Voices of the crowd interject and the hustle and bustle rises like the beginning of Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up only here the crowd’s interjections distort, repeat, and swell. Time and time again, natural noises turn ever-present through repetition and manipulation. An eerie tone becomes a feature, underlining the groundswell of the crowd and finally a strain of natural percussion – bongos – drill into the scene and are looped and repeated endlessly. Finally a less than dynamic descent from the crushing crowd of the climax.
The result is a near sixteen minute exemplification of what label Principe calls “100% real contemporary dance music.” 15 Barras is a controlled vision, complete in its scope and execution that is an absolute joy to experience. It’s communication is clear and its effect is actualized, perhaps sooner than the length of the track infers. Miles Davis’ On the Corner via a Windows computer, DJ Nigga Fox’s latest manages to be anxiety inducing and soothing simultaneously as it confounds and reassures the listener with ease and poise.
Shufsounds, February 2017
Originally conceived as the soundtrack to an installation but ultimately arriving on this one-sided piece of wax, 15 Barras trades in Nigga Fox’s usual dancefloor intensity and immediacy for something more slow burning and experimental in structure and duration. An elasticated 303, or 303 emulation, is the glue that holds the piece together, coming in sticky waves of jabbing, writhing rhythm, accreting diced chants and swells of clamouring crowd noise that eventually hinge around a splintered claps and trills of hollow, wooden blocks of percussion at ruggedest angles. Drop this at the right point in the dance and you’ve got at least enough time for a really leisurely slash, and maybe even roll a zoot before returning to the dance and finding everyone melted in some kind of Cronenbergian amorphorgy. Minter.
Boomkat, July 2017
Vinyl 12″ / Digital
Written and produced by Niagara;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released October, 2016;
VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us
A1 – Asa
A2 – IV
B1 – Amarelo
B2 – Laranja
Niagara started 2016 firmly committed to their own Ascender label, having released a first 12″ late in 2015. A string of stellar CDRs guaranteed their relevant (and private) output became available outside their studio. The consistency is such that it was no effort selecting 4 additional tracks to assemble a third EP on Príncipe.
Opener “Asa” is strong on keys, suggests a cool jazz walkabout where the machines and other instruments seem to be jamming together without interference. This broadens the horizon of whoever thought they are a House band;
As countless other dance tracks, “IV” is built around a steady kickdrum, supporting a succession of vibes hitting left and right, obeying only the illogical architecture of Niagara’s sonic world;
“Amarelo” is the longest track in the set. Very physical and expansive beats, a funky guitar groove, deep bass tones and it ends just like that!
A cascading drum machine holds its own, then comes a wandering flute and passing waves as jets in the sky. Trippy and brilliant, “Laranja” changes coordinates and points to a fresh destination.
Vinyl 12″; individually hand-painted, hand-stamped copies available in Portugal only.
O início de ano fulgurante, por parte dos Niagara, abrandou nos meses de calor, mas unicamente porque há trabalho a fazer. No que se refere apenas à música (e a vida é bem mais que isso), os métodos mudam, há experiências constantemente a ser realizadas, instrumentos diferentes acrescentados ao lote e uma curiosidade enorme por parte dos três Niagara (Alberto, António e Sara). Eles próprios mudam o seu jogo, forçam-se novas questões para serem obrigados a novas soluções, e “São João Baptista” reflecte admiravelmente o que está diferente desde a última vez. A ideia de techno ou house está muito difusa, aqui, e recebe-se com naturalidade uma incorporação que diriamos bem próxima do jazz, tal como, em “Amarelo”, um intensificar do seu enamoramento por um compasso que já levou alguma imprensa a aproximá-los de um cenário pós-punk. O EP avança a estética, prende também mais à terra o ouvinte, com blocos de som bem concretos. A acústica é maravilhosa em “São João Baptista”, muitos deslizes por muitas plataformas e, se o som pode eventualmente soar austero, acreditem que se trata de diversão. Clássico instantâneo, e não o diríamos se não acreditássemos 100%.
Flur, October 2016
OK they may display shades comparable with Hieroglyphic Being at his bendiest, or even traces of Pop Dell’ Arte in their musical DNA, but there’s some defiantly offbeat and textured to the bittersweet, cranky yet playful jazz-house of Asa, and even when they simply put a big kick under it, like with IV, they still manage to make it sound warped in their own image; a proper grinning/gurning fizzog.
When they lock down to a beat, they really juice it for all its worth in burred, ferric disco psychedelia of Amarelo, but equally know how to swivel your bones in distinctly fresh but tribalistic style with the splayed snare patter and lysergic, flanged-out flute tickles of Laranja. Whatever, they’ll make your ‘floor feel weird and bring out the best dancers.
Boomkat, October 2016
São João Baptista introduit ainsi de nouvelles influences dans la musique du trio : on trouvera des réminiscences jazz dans les notes égrénées de clavier d’un « Asa » se rapprochant de Tortoise, ou des inflexions presque krautrock dans l’excellent « Amarelo », porté par une basse puissante. La répétition règne en règle, emportant l’auditeur dans des cercles sans fin sur lesquels se greffent progressivement de nouvelles textures, de nouvelles nappes : « IV », probable sommet de l’EP, s’apparente ainsi à un exercice de style provoquant un progressif dérèglement des sens, autour d’une mélodie insistante et lentement modulée. « Laranja », étrange écrin percussif sur lequel se superposent des touches vaporeuses, s’impose finalement comme conclusion idéale d’un EP intrigant et original, qui témoigne – si cela était encore nécessaire – de la vitalité de la scène portugaise actuelle.
SeekSickSound, October 2016
Niagara, one of Principe’s biggest acts (along with DJ Marfox) returns to the label with a tasty four tracker of brand new material, their third on this cult Portugese beats and bass label. Principe spearheaded a new sound a few years ago, taking cues from cumbia, raggaclash and kuduro; ‘batida’ (instrumental kuduro) was metallic, harsh and aggressive, but also had this undeniable groove and sound system friendly aesthetic that would see it find favour across much greater circles than its native Lisbon. If kids in south London were turning to the grime / dubstep template to let off steam, then this is what the inner city kids of Lisbon were flexing; it’s all punk rock anyway! “Asa” signals the start of this new collection of songs, haphazardly concocting up a tropical but rambunctious drum template, Niagara layers up nice keyboard flurries, squelchy synth stabs and waxy (synth?)-Rhodes lines. A modern and tropical take on the hardware driven vibe and effortlessly done. “IV” is up next, my personal favourite with its lysergic vocal delays, full frequency rub down and catchy, off-kilter rhythm. Flip and “Amerelo” comes charging in, like a batida version of Moodymann’s “Dem Young Sconies”. Corrosive as hell and begging for big speaker action, blasts of white noise seal the deal as this superior dancefloor destroyer. Finally, “Laranja” returns to the controlled chaos of first track, seemingly random drum artifacts flying through the mix and littered with fx. Through this chaos a mystic (possible India) flute line slowly makes itself audible. This is like Suns Of Arqa on crystal meth pop pickers! Frenzied drum programming meets spiritual flute raga…. mind blowing stuff indeed!
Piccadilly Records, October 2016
Unlike the Príncipe label’s core Afro-Portuguese artists, Niagara take cues from the European club scene. The trio’s house music remains deeply eccentric, though, its sonorities bright and its rhythms ramshackle. Their third EP for the label, São João Baptista, a scrawl of clapped-out drums and spidery guitars, highlights their idiosyncrasies. Sonically, the trio have found new ways to make the analogue and the electronic sit well together; stylistically, their mutant-funk tendencies are given freer rein.
On “Asa” they’re positively free range. The track’s kick drum foundation is solid, but the erratic conga hits, sour Rhodes chords and vintage funk lead seem to be following their own respective agendas. The results recall Miles Davis’s fusion era at its knottiest. “Laranja” uses live instrumentation less effectively. In this case it’s a flute, pirouetting coyly around whooshes of filtered synth. The drum machine holding it all together is swung to the point of stumbling, and the overall effect is aimless rather than oblique.
The rest of the EP is loopier but keeps the anarchic feel. “IV” focusses on the interplay of synth parts—tart chords, a squelchy bassline, wandering midrange melodies—that are slowly blurred together until the whole mix is a pungent smear. In the distance, a voice mumbles and shouts through a hailstorm of delay. “Amarelo” is a garden shed reboot of big-room techno. The bashing 4/4 is there, along with rising klaxon tones and snares that whip up cresting waves of white noise, but the guitar loops on top are janky as hell.
Resident Advisor, November 2016