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.
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
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.
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
K30’s sparse synthetic style is the most intriguing. He renders kuduro’s stumbling rhythms in cold metallic tones, and offers jolts of the bizarre: melodies that wander like drunken spiders and “Era Uma Ve(z)”‘s spatters of dissonant chords. “Hora Da Casa” and “Sistema” make use of ear-tickling water-drop percussion. The former, with its stop-start drums and icy organ melody, is the better of the two. The highlight, “Melodias Do K30,” follows K30’s techno-like sound choices to their logical conclusion, pairing the familiar stumbling rhythm with dappled chords straight out of a dub techno track.
DJ NinOo charms by more conventional means. “Ambientes Leves” drops to a slower, hip-winding tarraxinha beat, and drips with luscious melody. “Saudades Do Russel” is even better, pairing an exquisite lead line with featherlight percussion. Puto Anderson’s record could hardly be more different. His two tracks are apparently older, and the label describes them as a kind of “raw ground zero” for the Afro-Portuguese sound. Their merciless barrages of scraped percussion, whistles and shakers loop frantically for four minutes apiece, making for intense listening. Of the two, “Gritos Do Infinito” has more spark thanks to its flickering rhythms and a bewildering vocal breakdown.
Resident Advisor, June 2017