- When it comes to Lisbon's endlessly fertile dance music scene, local label Príncipe has been the point of entry for most people. Now with Cargaa, named for a slang term that means "hot" or "heavy," Warp have set their sights on the Portuguese capital. The UK label has put together a trilogy of EPs meant to showcase Lisbon's bustling musical landscape, which encompasses sounds as diverse as kudro, batida, afro house and tarraxinha. The first volume of Cargaa provides a vibrant cross-section that should be a solid introduction for the larger audience that Warp commands.
To begin the series, Warp wisely chose two of Lisbon's ringleaders in DJ Marfox and DJ Nigga Fox. The former turns in "Take Off," one of his toughest numbers, which is broken and jumpy like an old Crazy Couzinz dubplate. As with the best of Marfox's work, there's an odd, twisted logic to the arrangement, but it sure as hell works. On a similar tip, DJ Nigga Fox's "LUMI" is up there with his wonkiest work. Blacksea Nao Maya's "Afro" taps into something more melancholy; its minor-key majesty wouldn't be out of place on Hyperdub. 17 year-old DJ Nedwyt Fox gives his elders a run for their money with the boisterous "Grandes Invejosos," which feels rustic and homemade. DJ Ly-COox's "Good Wine" operates on the same wavelength, and it's the EP's most arresting moment. Smoothing out the jumpy attack of Ly-COox's best material, the banjos and synth horns paint an idyllic picture of seaside cool that feels a world away from the ghetto-inspired grit of his contemporaries.
A1 DJ Marfox - Take Off
A2 DJ Nedwyt Fox - Grandes Invejosos
B1 DJ Nigga Fox - LUMI
B2 Blacksea Não Maya - Afro
B3 DJ Ly-COox - Good Wine