- As the breakout producer from Lisbon's Afro-Portuguese club music scene, DJ Nigga Fox, AKA Rogério Brandão, now represents his local community on a global scale. His move from the Lisbon label Príncipe to the more high-profile Warp Records creates expectations that have proven elusive for other artists in a similar position. Warp debuts can falter towards the overcooked, but that's not a problem on Crânio, even though the music is tighter, cleaner and more polished than ever.
It's also richer. The melodies are sonic riffs of color, and where they may have once felt naive, they appear as bold strokes of purposeful style. It can manifest as squelchy minimalism ("Sinistro," "Maria Costa") or something more exploratory, as heard in the piano in the final track, "Karma." But, as usual, Brandão's main concern is rhythm. He's even brought in the Angolan percussionist Galiano Neto, who adds another dimension to the percussive dynamism that Brandão uses as a springboard for his sound. True to his batida roots, Crânio is anchored in the club (the highlight, "KRK," reminds us of that the most) but its avant-garde sensibilities are mind expanding.
A2 Poder Do Vento
A3 Maria Costa