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Words by Philip Sherburne

DJ Lycox – Noite Príncipe @ Musicbox

Though he’s based in Paris these days, DJ Lycox hails from Lisbon, Portugal; as a member of the Tia Maria Produções crew, he represents a rising generation of batida producers coming up behind artists like DJ Marfox and DJ Nigga Fox, who put the proudly local Afro-Lusophone style on the international map. This set serves as a kind of homecoming: It was recorded at one of the monthly parties hosted by Príncipe Discos, the label that’s acted as an emissary to get this stuff out into the wider world. If you’ve been following batida, the sound of Lycox’s music will be familiar—he emphasizes the same kinds of loping hand percussion, knotty polyrhythms, and loopy synth riffs as his peers—but it’s a special treat to hear it in the context of a DJ set. Hearing track after track of ricocheting beats begins to take on a kaleidoscopic effect: The elements stay more or less the same, but they’re jumbled anew every few bars. And if your ears happen to perk up toward the end, when he teasingly drops an all-too-short snippet of a “Bad and Boujee” remix, fear not: You can hear the entirety of his Migos rework right here, in all its triplet-riddled glory.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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 2016

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