Edição de Maio de 2015.
May 2015 issue.
By Robert Barry
Over the last few years, thanks partly to the patronage of the Unsound festival and Philip Sherburne’s columns for Spin, a scene that was once confined largely to the clubs and housing projects of the Portuguese capital has begun trickling out across Europe. With this first of two compilations on Warp, that wild and wigged out cat is leaping determinedly out of the bag. Aggressive yet playful, rhythmically tumultuous yet infectiously danceable, the five tracks gathered on the first volume of Cargaa bear comparison to early grime – all clattering FruityLoops beats and syncopated square waves bum rushing the stage with the pent-up energy of overstretched rubber. In place of grime’s reggae connections, however, Lisbon’s young producers supplement Luso-African dance genres like Angolan batida and Cape Verdean funaná.
“Take Off” by DJ Marfox kicks things off with a Latin clave rhythm, followed by a series of progressively more urgent sirens and tom toms until a four-to-the-floor beat drops with saucer-eyed gusto. The two standout tracks, however, are a little more laid back, though just as intense. DJ Lycox’s “Good Wine” drafts fragments of parping sax and female vocal cooing, as if from some late 1980s slow jam, over a beat so rattling and off-kilter that it sounds like a bag of percussion thrown down a flight of stairs. DJ Nigga Fox’s “Lumi” dispenses with almost everything bar a cascade of cinematic sound effects and a set of rhythms so heavily swung as to teeter on the brink of collapse. “Lumi” first turned up on Nigga Fox’s SoundCloud page two years ago, around the time of his first EP on the Lisbon label Principe Discos.
This month Principe drop his second 12″, Noite E Dias (Night And Day). These latest four tracks see the Angolan born producer getting hi-fi, with
the thunderous timpani and whooping synth-flute of final track “De Leve” even recalling the widescreen exotica of Les Baxter. Elsewhere, “Tio Kiala” finds Nigga Fox stretching his rave muscles with quick fire acid squelches and hoover synths over hardcore snare shots. “Um Ano” and
“Apocalipsiii” are closer to the loose-limbed minimalism of his previous record, but with far more layers of textural, polyrhythmic complexity. Aside from this careening syncopation, what sets Nigga Fox’s tracks apart is his deft manipulation of space – one moment claustrophobically boxed in, a second later we’re sent drifting through yawning chasms.