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By April Clare Welsh

Príncipe’s P. ADRIX was raised in Lisbon by Angolan parents but moved to Manchester three years ago. The grimey, ‘Functions on the Low’-flavored opener of his debut Álbum Desconhecido (“unknown album”) kicks off this culture clash, while jungle rumbles on ‘Abertura da Roda’ and the cowbell and bassline on ‘Bola De Cristal’ further nod to the producer’s adopted homeland. But scurrying down the record’s backbone is the polyrhythmic 140BPM pulse of Angolan kuduro – P. ADRIX’s long-standing obsession – brought to life on tumbling standout ‘Ovni’.

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Words by: Frank Falisi

As in dream: “feeling the music from the words.” With our ears to the terrain, we sought footing in the percussion of shells snapping and plates shifting. We prepared for finite worlds in this flanging earth. We thought these sounds would be like all the others, an archipelago to be turned cartographic. But this terra infirma, this collection unfamiliar is not for knowing. In asphalt batida and slurred footworks, the jungle takes back the city. A de-bodied voice, a woozed intonation: “Adrix.” In turbulent Annihilation, as if in dream: “a rising sense of heat and weight and a kind of licking, a lapping wetness, as if the thick light was transforming into the sea itself.” We thought, as bodies do, that we could hear these sounds in this world but these sounds slough descriptors like rain off flesh. “Cut me open. Are my insides going to move like my fingerprints?” P. Adrix, sonhos unraveled and the sea itself, knows already: our insides run like sounds. Move for life. Transform or die.

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Words by Andy Battaglia

Nídia, Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida (Principe)
This one comes from the antic and animated stable of DJs and producers behind Principe, a fantastic label devoted to dance-music sounds from the club scene in Lisbon, Portugal. Nídia produced one of the better tracks on the latest album by Fever Ray, and her own full-length offering abounds in sounds that go deep and spacey, with a propulsion that rumbles and shakes.

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Words by Gary Suarez

The emergence of Lisbon’s Afro-Portuguese kuduro sound denotes the vast potential of electronic music to adapt and thrive outside of the more conventional urban centers for dance such as Berlin or London. While the Principe Discos imprint didn’t have its most prolific year, it held its own in 2017 in representing the scene. A name no doubt recognized by those familiar with the groundbreaking Cargaa series, DJ Lycox at last presents a full-length, one unencumbered by expectations. Via the deep house grooves of “Domingo Abençoado” and the trancey leads of “Sky,” he gives the vibrant subgenre a rejuvenating jolt throughout Sonhos & Pesadelos. The anticipated polyrhythmic complexities of this music persist even as the implementations fluctuate in often wild ways. The balearic finale “Solteiro” peaks with a pristine balance of elements, making for a style somewhere just beyond the reach of tropical house.

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Words by Philip Sherburne

Not only did the 20-year-old producer Nídia have a hand in “IDK About You,” one of the most electrifying songs on Fever Ray’s Plunge; the Portuguese-born, Bordeaux-based electronic musician helped push the Afro-Lusophone sound of batida forward with a debut album brimming with syncopated rhythms and unusually tactile percussive tones. Nídia É Má, Nídia É Fudida—a title that loosely translates as Nídia Is a Fucking Badass—confirms that she’s not riding anybody’s coattails.

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Words by April Clare Welsh

Since its inception five years ago, Lisbon’s Príncipe has gone from strength to strength. Now a contemporary club powerhouse in its own right, Príncipe’s commitment to championing the ideas, identities, sounds and beats of the Portuguese capital and its Luso-African diaspora doesn’t detract from the label’s innovating power, or make for any less variety, instead acting like sonic glue that binds hard and fast.

This year the killer releases have come thick and fast: Príncipe grande dame Nídia’s Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida LP was among our favorites of the year; DJ K30, DJ NinOo and Puto Andersons’s Firma do Txiga took tarraxinha to new places and newcomer DJ Lycox impressed us with his hypnotic debut album Sonhos & Pesadelos. What’s more, the beautiful hand-painted artwork from Príncipe’s in-house designer Márcio Matos continues to go above and beyond what’s expected from any label in 2017.

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