Words by XLR8R STAFF

Chapa Quente illustrates that the Lisbon sound forged by Marlon Silva and other Principe Discos contributors—loosely comprised of Brazillian Batucada, Angolan Kuduro, and a number of other Afro-Portuguese musics—effectively possesses no stylistic boundaries. The Portuguese phenom displays the full range of his production chops here, moving effortlessly between the blazing polyrhythmic complexity of ‘Unsound’ and the restrained danceability of ‘Tarraxo Everyday.’ Compounded with instrumentation that marries raw, unprocessed drum machine sounds with lively flutes and marimbas, Silva’s finished product wields what could be the most idiosyncratic aesthetic of the year.



Words byApril Clare Welsh

On the lead single from his Chapa Quente EP, Lisbon producer and batida pioneer DJ Marfox shows off the deft hybridity of his work by slapping an undulating flute melody over a hard-hitting slab of ‘90s techno. A dizzying polyrhythmic assault, it’s one of the highest points on an already vertigo-inducing record, securing Marfox’s status as the overlord of Príncipe.



Words byNick Murray

13. Various Artists, ‘Mambos Levis D’Outro Mundo’

Over the last five years, the Príncipe Discos label has become synonymous with the jagged, indescribable club music coming out of Lisbon. Mambos Levis D’Outro Mundo, Príncipe’s first compilation, collates 27 tracks, all slightly out of joint, that would rattle any club on Earth. But these beats are just as compelling heard through headphones – you could spend a long morning-after trying to discern the logic that holds together every interjected noise and seemingly random percussion glitch. Niagara’s “Alexandrino,” for instance, sounds like Depeche Mode and Cajmere trapped in an elevator, and it would stun the same in 2016 Lisbon as it would in 1992 Chicago or, presumably, on a spaceship to Mars in 2045. Which isn’t to say these sounds are timeless, just don’t expect to ever live in a time when they don’t sound fresh. N.M.



Words byVF

Principe Discos continued to represent the Lisbon scene in 2016, bringing the noise with intoxicating releases from Niagara, DJ Nervoso and the one-and-only DJ Marfox. Inspired by both the sound and intensity of a childhood in the Quinta da Vitória shantytown, Marfox creates a dizzying collection of tough, rapid fire beats, exotic sounds and disorienting effects designed only with dancing in mind. Raw, uncompromising and incomparable, Chapa Quente rips up the rulebook and ruins your speakers in the best possible way.



Words by Ezra Marcus

On his latest release for powerhouse Lisbon label Principe Discos, the batida pioneer expands his palette to account for the banner year he’s had touring Europe and America—”Unsound” references the downbeat techno he encountered at its namesake festival, for example. “2685” blends delirious throwback rave elements with a flute line as startling and refreshing as a spray of mist to the face. My personal favorite highlight is “Tarraxo Everyday,” with loping drums and a New Age-y synth line that sounds ripped from a hazy Laraaji jam session. “I have a notion when a song’s going to be immediate,” said DJ Marfox when we spoke with him earlier this year. “It’s a beautiful feeling.” On Chapa Quente, this sense of tactile joy is hard to miss.



Words by Etienne

Depuis quelques d’années, un nouveau phénomène musical commence à émerger des profondeurs de la capitale portugaise, imbibé des sonorités de la communauté angolaise domiciliant dans les quartiers populaires. Portant le doux nom de Batida, ce mouvement condense les énergies du kuduro et du tarraxinha, s’harmonisant avec les tonalités de la bass music, de la house, de la drum’n’bass et du grime. Un mix sauvage dont l’appellation, sans réelle traduction, se rapproche d’une expression désignant les battements du cœur lors d’un choc violent ! Venue du ghetto, la batida a déjà contaminé les clubs de Lisbonne, via le label Principe Discos, étendard du mouvement qui rassemble cette nouvelle génération de producteurs.

Des artistes comme l’excellent Dj Marfox s’exportent en France, pour des soirées à Lyon ou à Paris. On croise aujourd’hui Nidia Minaj au Berghain et Dj Nigga Fox en Pologne, etc. Mais le travail de ces pionniers s’accompagnent d’une recherche visuel qui n’est l’objet que d’un seul homme ; Márcio Matos. Auteur d’absolument tous les artworks des projets de Principe Discos, l’artiste les aborde dans un style en noir et blanc très épuré, en personnifiant selon ses émotions lors de l’écoute et selon les liens qu’il entretient avec eux, chacune des créations. Tous les exemplaires sont réalisés de sa main, dans un artisanat en lien avec cette indépendance revendiquée du label, qui va jusqu’à organiser ses propres soirées sur Lisbonne. Connaissant les artistes personnellement, il aborde chaque visuel selon la personnalité de l’artiste, en essayant de se « connecteur avec eux ». Un rapport à l’intime qui sculpte chaque disque.