DJ Marfox is the alias of Marlon Silva, the protagonist of Lisbon’s bubbling Afro-Portuguese electronic music scene. He first connected with music in the early 2000s when he heard Kuduro artist DJ Nervoso playing at a party, and left feeling inspired to begin producing his own music. “If I hadn’t witnessed that, perhaps I wouldn’t be here today,” he said in an earlier interview with Thump. He soon learned the basics of FruityLoops and teamed up with high school friends DJ Nervoso, DJ Nk, DJ Fofuxo, DJ Jesse, and DJ Pausas as DJs Do Ghetto, throwing parties around the city before issuing DJs do Ghetto Vol. I, a 37-track digital compilation shining a light on the local artists. This marked the beginnings of Lisbon’s batida movement, the sounds of which incorporate African-influenced dance music such as kuduro, kizomba, funaná, and tarraxinha with traditional house and techno. Those involved invariably came from working-class backgrounds and used cheap, but accessible software.
Silva began working as Marfox around this period, the alias a combination of his first initial and Star Fox 64, his favorite Nintendo 64 sci-fi shoot-em-up game. He uploaded several tracks via YouTube and some music blogs before releasing 2011’s Eu Sei Quem Sou, a debut EP via fledgling Príncipe Discos. Further releases soon came, as did booking requests from all over the world. DJ Marfox and his homegrown sound were on the rise—and this international acclaim has only continued to grow, evidenced by Warp’s 2015 Cargaa series, aimed directly at highlighting the “cream-of-the-crop purveyors of Lisbon’s thrilling electronic dance scene.”
Silva still resides in Lisbon but his name is known far beyond the city’s borders. He’s performed at some key festivals around the world, from Unsound and CTM, MoMA PS1 Warm Up Series, and Red Bull Festival in New York to Novas Frequências in Rio de Janeiro and Nyege Nyege in Uganda. Touring with reasonable frequency, he’s a purveyor of an intense but rhythmic blend of percussive techno that bears great reference to his batida roots, and his podcast for XLR8R provides a snapshot of this sound with 60 minutes of exhilarating grooves.
What have you been up to recently?
Besides traveling for shows, I’ve been going out a bit to listen to other national and international DJs, and also been focusing on listening to the new music coming from Cabo Verde.
When and where was the mix recorded?
This mix was recorded in my home studio, where everything starts but nothing gets finished!
What equipment did you record it on?
I used two Pioneer DJ XDJ-1000MK2 and a Pioneer DJM-750 MK2 Mixer.
How did you select the tracks that you included?
It was a balanced selection of tracks, including a harmonious sequence of my old and new tracks, and of other colleagues in the Príncipe label.
Was there a particular idea or mood you were looking to convey?
It’s always about wanting to make the mix as powerful as possible—something that people can still listen to it in 10 years and find it super fresh.
Can we expect some more material from you soon?
Yes, I’m working on a new EP, but I’m still trying to figure out the right journey to offer to listeners.
What else have you got coming up?
What I can advise but not disclose is that you keep your ears out for the new records to be released on Príncipe because there’s a lot of very good stuff coming out.
Vinyl 12″ / Digital
Written and produced by DJ Lilocox;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released May, 2018;
VINYL/DIGITAL: Order from us
A1 – Vozes Ricas
A2 – Ritmo & Melodias
B1 – Paz & Amor
B2 – Samba
B3 – Fronteiras
The sprawling ambience we hear throughout “Paz & Amor” unveils the present stage of the fascinating aesthetic progression Lilocox has been sharing with the world ever since this Eurochild of Cape Verdean descent started to produce his original music. Lilocox comes out in open field, with a lot more space, building the groove around complex rhythm grids now unfolding peacefully. He scored a bouncier underground hit with “La Party” back in 2015, coming from a background of intricate batida drum patterns but his sights reached further and further away into deeper territory.
“Ritmos E Melodias” seems to split into two parallel tracks at some point with the house beat balanced by a background rattle more commonly associated with the slower tarraxo vibes. “Samba” is fully-formed from the very beginning but the kick only comes in around the 2-minute mark, joining a bleepy substitute for a bassline. In fact, you will find this music practically does away with the need for a bassline because the rhythm inventions keep the feet moving effortlessly. It might seem strange that a genre seemingly rooted in classic house can stay focused on the dancefloor without a bassline, but the skeleton of these tracks is naturally strong and provides all the necessary ground for ambience and melody to shine.
And they do shine universally on “Fronteiras”, an intensely emotional and catchy tune WITH a bassline, though very discrete and minimal. It follows the beat more or less independently, but its presence helps to consolidate the human bond we should all feel when exposed to these celestial harmonies. “Fronteiras” seems to contradict its very title.
Vinyl 12″; individually hand-painted, hand-stamped copies available for the world.
Paz E Amor, or “peace and love”, is the solo début of deep, hypnotic Batida grooves by DJ Lilocox. A longtime core member of Lisbon’s Príncipe label, Lilocox is one third of the PDDG (Piquenos DJs Do Guetto) crew beside DJs Firmeza and Maboku, and accounts for half of CDM (Casa Da Mãe), also with Maboku. In solo mode Lilocox alloys sensuous atmospheres with rolling percussion in a widely appealing style that resonates with the slickness of the Sonhos & Pesadelos LP by his near namesake, DJ Lycox, but personalised by more spacious production values and a rugged vision of dancefloor romance and energy.
With the CDM project on hold for now, DJ Lilocox presents a more mature sound now characterised by his focus on rhythmelodic cadence and synthetic sensuality. Between the EP’s lusting highlight in the Ron Trent-esque Afrohouse of Fronteiras, to the starker, Gqom-Like tension of Ritmo e Melodias, Lilocox plays to the ‘floor’s timeless needs in a ruggedly forward manner, deftly shifting his weight from a pendulous footing of Vozes Ricas to the woodblock knocks and drones of Paz e Amor and the snake-hipped swinge of Samba with the dancer’s balance and emotions always a priority.
After the scorching début EP from P. Adrix, the first solo DJ Lilocox record perfectly demonstrates his depth and diversity whilst maintaining Príncipe’s rarely paralleled and flawless reputation for the freshest, timelessly effective dance music.
Boomkat, May 2018
On DJ Lilocox’s latest single, “Vozes Ricas” (“rich voices” in Portuguese) there is very little in the way of actual vocals. Instead, the Manchester-based, Portugal-born producer crafts a new, stirring language with an expansive palette of percussion. “Vozes Ricas” is the lead single from Lilocox’s debut EP for Príncipe Discos, Paz & Amor, and it affirms his ability to make thoughtful dance music without so much as a word—or even a bassline.
The types of drums punctuating “Vozes Ricas” are too numerous to categorize, and they ricochet off each other like rubber bullets fired at cement walls. A few distinct beats ring out, however, from floor toms, congas, and sizzling crash cymbals, their chaotic conversation resembling a heated debate between a dozen politicians. In the background, pulses of synths and 8-bit chirps try to butt into the conversation, but the rhythm section maintains the most compelling component, suggesting fierce and free motion. “Vozes Ricas” may be a wordless song, but DJ Lilocox’s repertoire of rhythms speaks volumes.
Pitchfork track review, May 2018
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
Words by April Clare Welsh
DJ Lycox came through as a late contender for Príncipe Discos best release of 2017 with his debut solo album, Sonhos & Pesadelos. To celebrate the LP’s arrival last month, the Portugal-born, Paris-based producer turned in a short, sharp no-frills mix for Crack that blends Afro-house bangers like Os Moikanos’ ‘Ninguém Foge’ with instrumental grime-sounding excursions and uplifting trance synths. A highly hypnotic mix to help you to focus…