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Dj Lycox‘s mix for Crack Magazine is one of the year’s finest according to FACT Magazine

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…

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Born in Portugal and based in Paris, producer DJ Lycox released his debut Sonhos & Pesadelos via Príncipe in November. Helming groundbreaking dance releases, the Lisbon imprint has pushed sounds from the likes of Nídia, DJ Firmeza, Niagara, Firma do Txiga and more. Originally as part of the Tia Maria Produções crew, also signed to the Lisbon label, DJ Lycox has since set out to make his own mark, and his debut sees him work within a kuduro framework, bringing in pop tones and strong melodies but still keeping it heavy.

In comparison to Príncipe’s other artists, Lycox’s music is refreshingly straightforward: his kuduru rhythms are more utilitarian and club ready, and his melodies are poppier than those of his more avant garde label mates. As such his music is a perfect entry point for newcomers to the label’s sound, or else a moment of release for those already immersed in Principe’s wonderfully dense and eccentric sonic universe.

Accordingly, his mix for us is clubby and to the point. Clocking in at just over half an hour, it’s a colourful, high-energy injection of soca rhythms, grimey synths and scattershot vocal samples.

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Words by Chal Ravens

Born in Portugal and based in the Paris suburbs, DJ Lycox is one of the jewels in Principe’s ever-shinier batida crown. This criminally brief mix for The Astral Plane – the first in the label’s restarted mix series – shows off Lycox’s flair for melody and smooth, laidback vibe, in contrast to some of the more frantically percussive producers on the scene.

Appearing ahead of his debut album, Sonhos & Pesadelos – which is spectacular, incidentally – this is 30 minutes of that’s perfect for the warm-up party.

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Words by Gabe Meier

After an almost five month hiatus, the Astral Plane Mix Series is back up and running and we’ve recruited one of our favorite artists from Lisbon’s Principe crew. DJ Lycox has been a longtime favorite, appearing constantly in our For Club Use Only feature for FACT and becoming a quick staple in Astral Plane DJ Team sets. Born in Portugal and based in the Paris suburbs, Lycox is a prolific producer, initially emerging as part of the Tia Maria Produções trio before setting out on his own. Working mainly within a kuduro framework, Lycox’s productions are intensely melodic, introducing an element of euphoria and pop song writing to the genre’s intricate percussion arrangements and forceful energy. On November 17, Lycox’s debut solo album will be released by Principe, a coming out party of sorts for an artist who has become an underground favorite and a release that will surely establish the Portuguese producer as one of the most respected kuduro artists alongside the likes of Marfox, Nidia, Nigga Fox and Firmeza.

Lycox’s Astral Plane mix exemplifies what Lycox is all about, a 30 minute ride that blows by before you know it and functions as the perfect soundtrack to the melancholic last tendrils of Summer. Heavy on original productions, Lycox links irresistible hook after irresistible hook, bridged by the loping gait of his expertly arranged kuduro rhythms. It’s a breezy selection that performs an idyllic counterpoint to much of kuduro’s sweaty pomp, leaving trace elements of each respective hook as it drives onwards. Pre-order the Sonhos & Pesadelos LP here and dive into Lycox’s Soundcoud for a heap of divine original productions. No track list for this one so you’ll have to look out for the album.

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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)

PRESS RELEASE

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.

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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

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Words by John Twells
Click image above to listen to the mix.

Before moving to France at age 11, Nídia spent her early years in Portugal, just outside of Lisbon, and was fascinated by kuduro, an innovative form of Angolan dance music that evolved in Lisbon’s barrios. The hiccuping beats and lurching melodies of the “kuduro continuum” still make up the backbone of Nídia’s music, but she brings plenty more into the mix.

Nídia’s debut album was released this month on Portuguese club music powerhouse Príncipe, and is entitled Nídia É Má, Nídia É Fudida – Nídia is bad, Nídia is dope. This should give you some clue to the young producer’s confidence. There’s no meandering and no waffle, no theorizing or contextualization; instead Nídia gets straight to the point, cherry-picking far-reaching influences – hip-hop, batida, tarraxo, hardcore, techno, ambient – and assuredly re-creating them in her own image.

Her FACT mix is equally as singular, guiding us through a collection of polyrhythmic club bangers from across the diaspora. With clattering percussion, humid basslines and squealing warehouse-ready synths, this is music that should bring life to any party – it’s decidedly future-facing and offers an exciting alternative to the usual festival sounds cluttering up the feed throughout the summer. Who needs ‘Despacito’ anyway?

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