Archive

Catalogue

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)

PRESS RELEASE

“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

PRESS RELEASE

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

——————–

p018

Vinyl 12″
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

PRESS RELEASE

“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

——————–

Unbenannt-2Unbenannt-4

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

PRESS RELEASE

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

——————–

Unbenannt-2Unbenannt-4

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

PRESS RELEASE

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

——————–

P015 FRONT cd label

CD / Digital
Written and produced by the respective artists;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released July, 2016;

CD / DIGITAL: Order from us

1. DJ Nunex & DJ Famifox – Intro Ludhiana (Indian Music)
2. DJ CiroFox – Moments
3. DJ Lycox – Dor Do Koto
4. DJ Danifox feat Deejay Ary – Dorme Bem
5. DJ TL – Deep House
6. DJ Lilocox – La Party
7. DJ Marfox – Swaramgami
8. DJ Firmeza – Tungada Rija
9. K30 – Hora do FL
10. Niagara – Alexandrino
11. Nídia Minaj – Festive
12. DJ Nigga Fox – Lua
13. DJ Dadifox – What Percusion
14. Babaz Fox & DJ Bebedera – Tarraxei No Box
15. DJ Maboku – Ruba Soldja
16. DJ Safari – Tempo Do Xakazulu
17. Puto Anderson – Domingo De Paz
18. Puto Márcio – Não Queiras Ser
19. DJ NinOo & DJ Wayne – Cabrito
20. Puto Adriano – Estilo Underground
21. DJ Nervoso – Lunga Lunga
22. DJ Adifox – Penso Em Ti
23. Blacksea Não Maya – Melodias Rádicas

PRESS RELEASE

“As to strategy, we learned in the struggle; some people think that we adopted a foreign method, or something like this. Our principle is that each people have to create its own struggle. Naturally, we have something to learn from the experience that can be adapted to the real situation of the country. But we bettered our struggle in the culture of our people, in the realities of our country, historical, economical, cultural, etc, and we developed the struggle, supported by our people which is the first and main condition: the support of the people.”

Amílcar Cabral, interview to Cameron Duodu/Radio-Ghana at Accra, 1973

+

Assim de repente. A Príncipe faz um CD com 23 faixas nunca editadas, um feliz encontro entre nomes já estabelecidos e outros emergentes ou mais ocultos. Uma das coisas que torna este disco tão especial é praticamente contar a história desta cena: a inclusão de DJ Nervoso, reconhecido como o originador do som que se produz hoje por incontáveis produtores de quarto, DJ Marfox, que pegou no testemunho de forma incrivelmente consequente, a geração Piquenos DJs Di Gueto e todos os outros nomes ainda mais recentes, tudo isto faz uma narrativa resumida mas bem certa dos sons que agora já não se pode negar pertencerem a Lisboa. Momentos sentimentais como “Moments” de Cirofox, “Não Queiras Ser” de Puto Márcio ou “Penso Em Ti” de Adifox parecem contrastar com Danifox & Ary ou Puto Adriano, por exemplo, pequenos testemunhos de uma exploração que continua sem nome definido. Quase obrigatoriamente, quando se conta esta história, teria de aparecer “La Party” (Lilocox), na sua qualidade de hino nos sets de CDM e popularidade disparada por destaque na Mixmag. O estatuto icónico desta faixa é fácil de absorver com a mera audição. O título do CD aplica-se na perfeição, ainda que “Levis” sugira algo menos fogoso, mas reparem como a grafia da palavra recontextualiza a realidade. A música, essa então redesenha-a. Conhecendo bem o percurso da Príncipe, são também perfeitas as palavras de Amílcar Cabral que compõem o press release do disco.
Flur, Julho 2016

Frankly, Lisbon’s Príncipe are just showing off with this fever-inducing 23-track showcase of their full crew in heaviest effect; including stacks of label debuts and strong showings from their core players.
Mambos Levis D’Outro Mundo is accompanied by a quote from Guinea-Bissauan and Cape Verdean liberationist Amílcar Cabral, which points to the label’s social-democratic ideals.
Within that spirit of independence and celebrating the reality of cultural struggle, the set approaches the ‘floor – an unparalleled site for cataylsing cultural expression – from myriad angles, flipping from wild-eyed, raving futurism in DJ Lycox’s Dor Do Koto to the aerobic mysticism of Swaramgami from the scene’s pivotal producer DJ Marfox, to whacked-out techno by Niagara, whilst also making enchanting introductions to the breezed out roll of Dadifox or the Gqom-like darkside hustle of DJ Safari’s Tempo Do Xakazulu, and the romantic flex of DJ Ninoo & DJ Wayne. Basically there’s loads of reasons you need this lot in your life. Highly recommended!

Boomkat, July 2016

——————–

P014 FRONT label_12inch_100mm_V092012.indd

Vinyl 12″ / Digital
Written and produced by DJ Marfox;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released April, 2016;

VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us

A1 – 2685
A2 – Unsound
A3 – Tarraxo Everyday
B1 – Kassumbula
B2 – Cobra Preta
B3 – B 18

PRESS RELEASE

Marfox and Príncipe have come a long and transformative way since his (and ours) debut with the appropriately titled EP “Eu Sei Quem Sou” in late 2011. The raw and more minimal sound of the producer’s formative years has mutated into a complex web of influences and new sounds. His scope has enlarged and yet Marfox retains the most crucial quality: he does not forget his roots.

You will notice differences in such tracks as “Unsound” (reflecting the festival in Poland where things really started to heat up), with its metallic harshness and even the bright, shiny, retro-futurist “Tarraxo Everyday”; also, “Kassumbula” and “Cobra Preta” both display a similar kind of sci-fi dissonace we can’t quite place our finger on.

Marfox’s musical evolution has been a staggering and beautiful process to behold. More skills bring more thrills and the overall feel of “Chapa Quente” is that of a perpetual chase scene on a New Lisbon constantly reorganized by the pull of different cultures, something that resonates with Marfox’s upbringing in the now demolished shantytown of Quinta da Vitória, where he came of age among neighbors who had emigrated from India, Pakistan, São Tomé e Príncipe or Cabo Verde, admittedly having informed his sound aesthetics and practice.

One stop only to catch some Sun (“Tarraxo Everyday”) but all the rest runs faster than you and us. Godspeed.

Vinyl 12″; individually hand-painted, hand-stamped copies available in Portugal only.

+

Much of the music released via Principe is rough ‘n’ ready. While still wildly frenetic, Marfox’s productions are more polished and pumped with soundsystemdominating kick than tracks made by his Portugese peers. ‘Quente’ opens with the snake-charmed ‘2985-2686’ and bursts into staunch drum workout ‘Unsound’. ‘Tarraxo Everyday’ is a beautiful rendering of the Angolan genre and a moment of 100bpm respite, before the tempo rises with the exhilarating ‘Kassumbula’ and ‘Cobra Preta’. It closes with ‘B 18’ and its perfect storm of percussion. Essential. 9/10
Mixmag, March 2016

“2685,” the lead single on DJ Marfox’s first EP in nearly two years, begins with a bright, buzzing synthesizer that’s not too far from the sound of “Terra Batida,” the triumphant opener on 2014’s Lucky Punch EP. Between that screaming lead and the rapid-fire four-on-the-floor kick drum that accompanies it, it briefly appears that we may have stumbled into a Lowlands rave, circa 1995—a long way from the slinky, Lusophone-disaporic batida sounds we’re accustomed to hearing from the Lisbon producer. Don’t be fooled by the fake-out, though, because we’re soon thrust into a polyrhythmic maelstrom as turbulent and as richly textured as anything he’s done to date.
The centerpiece of it all is a careening flute melody that surges up and down the scale, practically tripping over its own tail in the process. It sounds vaguely South Asian in origin—perhaps a callback to Marfox’s roots in Lisbon’s Quinta da Vitória, a former shantytown, now converted into cement government housing, where immigrants from São Tomé e Príncipe and Cabo Verde lived alongside Indians, Pakistanis, and Hindus from Mozambique. And then there are the drums: rolling, ricocheting, going full tilt—threading tightly knotted triplets through loosely woven syncopations, and answering low, clanging toms with the antic chatter of small, leathery hand drums. Toward the end of the track, a distant voice cries out as if across a vast chasm, and you can only agree; few songs feel more like being catapulted through the air at tremendous velocity.

Pitchfork, March 2016

Dizzyingly strong DJ Marfox gear marking a stellar return to Príncipe; the label he kicked off with his debut release, the Eu Sei Quem Sou EP back in 2011.
As the New Lisbon scene’s godfather, Marfox is responsible for inspiring and rallying a wave of thrilling, yung new producers from the city to grow their roots into a proudly unique dance sound that’s subsequently become coveted by DJs, dancers and labels far from their sunny ghetto.
In the best sense, we get the feeling that Príncipe have been biding their time for a new DJ Marfox release, and that foresight pays off dividends with the colourful, head-rush styles of Chapa Quente, which are given perfect context in the wake of amazing 12”s by Nidia Minaj, Normal Nada, and DJ Nigga Fox, et al.
From the ratchet flutes and spring-loaded battery of 2685 to the industrialised croak and galvanised percussion of Unsound – so titled after formative experience at the Polish festival – he allows a lush moment of romance with the slow and sweet Tarraxo Everyday but the energy levels are peaked again with the wavy Kassumbula and the tendon-sparking Cobra Preta, whilst the trickling marimba melody of B 18 pulls up his central and west African heritage and and a melting pot of syncretic influence soaked up from his origins in the now-demolished Quinta da Vitória shantytown. Highly recommended!

Boomkat, April 2016

Lisbon has flipped the beats you know the bird. Instead it’s pumping out the sounds of a long and torrid musical affair between Portugal and Angola. Since the early ‘90s batida is the sound: high bpm and highly syncopated, bonding house and techno with the complex rhythms of Africa. You may have heard a little bit of it since the turn of the millennium, through those few groups like Buraka Som Sistema, smuggling it out to the wider world. Largely, however, batida has stayed hidden -especially its harder, ghetto-fied versions- not for general consumption. Nonetheless, one label -Principe Discos- has been pushing it and many other unusual sounds around the world, to anyone who’ll listen, and at the top of their roster is DJ Marfox.
Marlon Silva, the man who is Marfox has been producing since the early 2000s and it’s been a long road to where he is now. Portugal is a country with serious ghettos: they’re racially, socio-economically, culturally and even geographically isolated from mainstream Portuguese society. It’s one of the considerable successes of Marfox and Principe that they’ve been able to negotiate a meeting between the insular ghetto music of Lisbon and a wider audience. More importantly, they’ve done it with the authenticity of the music and its community intact.
It’s meant the going has been slow -Marfox only released a record on Principe three years after originally hooking up with them- but steady, with a stream of EPs appearing over the years. 2014’s Lucky Punch had the biggest impact, leading to more press plaudits, remixing duties and attention from labels like Warp.
Marfox’s latest, Chapa Quente, or ‘hot plate’ bangs with little respite. Opener and single 2685 builds over raving synths with layered drums until what I think is a fula flute loop undulates across. It would be all mysterious but Marfox chops it and the percussion savagely until everything feels like it’s been dashed to pieces. The almost liquefied remains are poured into a number of different rhythmic figures, spanning the distance between Euro and African dancefloors.
Unsound, by contrast, eschews any such gimmickry, pursuing a repetitive bassy roar, letting tinny, syncopated snares fall into the gaps. It’s positively industrial and I admire its simple, brutal effectiveness. Tarraxo Everyday is the only chill cut in the collection and tarraxo is the style it takes: a sauntering but rhythmically complex beat, which usually focuses on rhythm at the expense of most melody, though this one plays against type via long, lilting synth melodies.
The back half of the EP steadily builds the burn back up again. Kassumbala lassoes its bleating and bubbling treble synths in over a tightly syncopated beat. Cobra Preta quickly accelerates to a breakneck pace and is carnivalesque, complete with sampled whistles and yawps; the side-to-side motion of the rhythm evokes the titular reptile. The soca sounding snares of closing number, B18 maintain the breathless, carnival atmosphere to the final moment.
Chapa Quente might be modestly sized, but it’s a very satisfying piece of work. Selfishly, I almost hope that the EP doesn’t continue Marfox’s rise to global prominence. How good is this? I don’t want to hear a million producers reproducing it till the inspiration is completely sucked dry. Marfox and Principe only work in little increments though. Their successes are slow even if they are increasingly assured – so I suppose we’ve still got some time together to look forward to. I probably shouldn’t tell you, but you might want to check this out too.

4ZZZFM, April 2016

The opening track of Chapa Quente, 2685 couldn’t be more different from its predecessor, it begins straight out of a club, all hifi rave sheen, 4/4 beats, handclaps, and it’s difficult not to freak out a little, and ponder what the intervening years and surge in popularity done to Marfox. But these thoughts dissipate as quickly as they arrive as he continues to layer the ingredients, the frenetic polyrhythmic hand percussion and a hyperactive flute helping the piece to evolve into an overwhelming, somewhat woozy and frenzied slab of inspired off kilter dance music. This is forward thinking club music. Make no mistake though, it’s still very much Marfox and it’s pedal to the metal, and with its humour and hat tipping to rave culture it demonstrates that Marfox’s focus has expanded outwards. Perhaps the title of the second track, the wonky reggae inflected ‘Unsound’, might give away how far his focus has shifted, referencing his time at the Polish festival. Yet this is not a bad thing, as there is no way that these two pieces and indeed the remainder of the EP could’ve come from any other artist in or outside Portugal. Marfox consumes reference points and integrates them into his own musical world like few others.
‘Cobra Preta’ (Black Snake) is another balls to the floor percussion workout, with an insistent whistle and repetitive vocal sample it’s pure dynamics that you can only imagine being grist for his live show. In fact the dancefloor seems to be very much a focus for Marfox, yet it’s his unique ability to seamlessly integrate the hand percussion or marimba samples, the wooden hits and rumbles with these clipped insistent and raw electronics that is entirely unique and unparalleled. The final piece, the stilted wooden ‘B 18’ seems like its locked in a groove yet it expands almost miraculously outwards and before long we’re back on the dancefloor, albeit with strange almost tribal ingredients. Yet this is the miracle of Marfox. His ability to shift time and space is unsurpassed. We knew he was one to watch in 2011, yet now it’s 2016 and I wouldn’t dare my eyes or ears away for a minute. Something important is happening.

Cyclic Defrost, April 2016

It’s well established that no-one does it quite like DJ Marfox. The Portuguese maverick is the figurehead of a style that is as unpredictable as it is fresh, alongside contemporaries such as Nidia Minaj and DJ Nigga Fox. Príncipe has of course been instrumental in helping bring this hyped up sound out of Lisbon and to the wider world, and after inaugurating the label with his own debut release back in 2011 Marfox returns to serve up another six tracks of madcap party ammunition. From brazen industrial drum clangs at wonky tilts to looped up Moroccan flute and delicate synth lines, you never know which way Marfox is going to turn as he presents his own vision of electronic music. It veers from the delightful mellow nature of “Tarraxo Everyday” to the frenetic peak time stomp of “2685”, and the diversity of sounds on offer surely point to the maturing in the sound of this always-interesting producer.
Juno Plus, May 2016

Quem presume que as fervilhantes produções de DJ Marfox e da Príncipe Discos tendem para o monotemático deverá ficar esclarecido do contrário com Chapa Quente. É só entrar na viagem. “B 18” forma um coro de cascatas rítmicas que vai engrossando com o correr da faixa. A batida chama o samba e ele vem, e de um quase nada se gera uma peça que aos dois minutos já corre densa, num alarido metálico. “Cobra Preta” recebe a deixa e eleva o EP às imediações do motim com a introdução, uma ponderada peça de cada vez, de voz, apito asmático, ferros, ventos sintéticos. “Kassumbula” é o momento em que o disco parece prestes a tropeçar na sua própria corrida, recuperando o embalo quando amparado por uma semelhança de batimento cardíaco. Tal como o género musical melífluo e descompressor aludido no título já deixa suspeitar, “Tarraxo Everyday” permite recuperar fôlego, num ambiente plástico varrido por um floreado de sintetizador mentolado, abrindo caminho para o ritmo sujo e os graves quase no vermelho de “Unsound”, que varrem o espaço à bala, abeirando-se da estética industrial mas sem tolher o calor. O melhor vem no fim: “2685” faz um upgrade das alusões sambistas de “B 18” e dispara em intensidade (sim, era possível), fazendo o cerco a uma revoada de flautas psicadélicas e a pontuais descargas de percussões hipnóticas. Uma apoteose que merecia ir bem para lá destes quase cinco minutos.
Por entre as gotas deste aguaceiro, DJ Marfox não perde o controlo nem a clareza das ideias. A tentação da abstracção fica à porta: por caminhos diversos, as seis faixas de Chapa Quente são blocos coloridos dançáveis, um reencontro exuberante e pluralista com a editora onde se estreou há cinco anos.

Time Out Lisboa / Porto, Maio 2016

When they head out on the road, DJ Marfox and his peers in Lisbon’s Afro-Portuguese club music scene find themselves in a curious position: they’ve mostly never heard of the artists they share a bill with. When I visited the city in 2014, I was told that the group’s exposure to Western dance music was almost non-existent. Marfox, for instance, was aware of Carl Cox, and that was pretty much it. It’s therefore inevitable that as the likes of Marfox, Nigga Fox and Firmeza become internationally established, the flood of new stuff they’re exposed to will influence their music.
This shows up on Chapa Quente, Marfox’s latest EP for the pioneering Lisbon label Príncipe, and he names a track after one of his experiences. In 2013, he and Nigga Fox played Unsound in Poland, their first on-the-ground exposure to Western club music. On “Unsound,” Marfox paints his storming kuduro canvas with darker colours, no doubt responding to the techno acts he caught at the festival. It’s a track that’s probably been useful in his DJ sets as a moment of gloom, but it’s among the least distinctive things he’s released. “2685” is much better. Through a buzzing synth lead it initially evokes ’90s raves, but a flute line and an onslaught of percussion flip it into one of Marfox’s hardest hitting batida jams.
The EP’s remaining tracks feel less informed by Marfox’s travels, but they show his sound developing in other ways. I thought the synth melody on “Tarraxo Everyday” was so good that it had to be a sample (the label said it isn’t). You can play it after the other romantic tarraxo track in Marfox’s catalogue, 2014’s “Heartbeat,” to hear how far he’s progressed with this style. Parts of “Cobra Preta” sound familiar, but there are a couple of elements, like the jagged little synth, that swing the tone of the track towards something much stranger. On “Kassumbula,” Marfox creates a breakdown by sweeping a filter across the master channel, adding an effective new trick to his arsenal, and on “B18,” he overloads the upper mid-range with kalimba and spacey zips. Not every genre will be suitable for absorption into the Lisbon sound, but on Chapa Quente Marfox shows that its expansion will throw up intriguing new shapes.

Resident Advisor, May 2016

——————–