- The Príncipe sound has always been varied, a restless hybrid of Afro-Portuguese and Euro-American dance styles with no fixed centre. The label enters 2015 with two EPs that give a great feel for its breadth.
Producers Maboku and Lilocox, working here as CDM, are core Príncipe artists: they've routinely DJ'd at label nights, and belong to the Piquenos Djs Do Guetto crew, which graced a Príncipe release back in 2013. As could be expected, Malucos De Raiz is vibrant and slippery. Tempos duck and dive, dropping to 100 BPM for a couple of seductive tarraxo numbers. "Safadas Da Noite" is particularly arresting, its slinky beat cloaked in sinister reverb. Melodic moments sometimes stand out, as with "CDM A Comandar"'s fidgety marimba line, or the synth-horn that hammers away at a single note on Maboku's brilliant "Laranjas." Mostly, though, the drums—those rolling, gravity-defying grooves that make the Lisbon sound so distinctive—steal the show.
Nidia Minaj is something of an outlier, having moved from Lisbon to Bordeaux when she was 14. Her style, as represented on Danger's eight colourful tracks, exists in its own parallel world. With the exception of the tumbledown "Aidin," rhythm takes a back seat to synth work: pristine chords "Afro Master," weird, rubbery leads on "Estúdio Da Mana Na Casa," weepy synth-strings on "Sentimentos." Structures can be volatile, and Minaj often sets up strange, unstable combinations. "Mambos Fudiz"'s neck-snapping beat contrasts with the slivers of trance synth hovering uneasily up top. On the darker "Limite," similar synths take on almost Hoover-like qualities. These elements are brought together most effectively on "Puto Iuri," but it's equally fun listening to them jostle for supremacy elsewhere.
CDM - Malucos De Raiz
A1 DJ Lilocox & DJ Maboku - Safadas Da Noite
A2 DJ Lilocox & DJ Maboku - CDM A Comandar
A3 DJ Lilocox & DJ Maboku - Viemos Do Congo
A4 DJ Lilocox - To Ligado
B1 DJ Maboku - Laranjas
B2 DJ Lilocox - No Momento
B3 DJ Lilocox - Grito Das Criancas
Nidia Minaj - Danger
A2 Mambos Fudiz
A3 Estúdio Da Mana Na Casa
A4 House Kaliente (w/ DJ Olifox)
B1 Puto Iuri