Lisbon’s Batida Underground
Underground Lisbon has been crafting a sound completely its own for the past 10 years. Several articles mention the use of Fruity Loops to create this sound. Producers call it “batida do gueto” or “beat from the ghetto”, but it has roots in the fast tempo kuduro from Angola (from where many Afro-Portuguese are descended), kizomba, tarraxinha, and funaná from Cape Verde, as well as hip hop and trap influences.
Chal Ravens helps us understand this sound in a wider societal context, writing that the visibility of musicians like Nigga Fox outside the ghettos “feels like a statement” given the geographic segregation of Lisbon, where the black African population has been pushed to less accessible suburbs, and Portuguese laws limit migrants’ rights (see Ravens’ well-written article on Principe Discos for UK publication The Wire).
Nidia Minaj, Black$ea Não Maya, DJ Marfox, DJ Ly-COox, DJ Nedwyt Fox, Puto Anderson and Deejay NinOo just to name a few, are artists killing it right now with their “frenetic and raw sound,” some of whom are quoted in Ravens’ piece. Lisbon’s Príncipe Discos record label has been behind releasing music of theirs and many other artists creating batida based in the city. The UK’s Warp Records has also released 2 EP’s featuring batida artists, Cargaa 1 and Cargaa 2.
All the artwork for Príncipe releases (some pictured at the top of this post) are individually hand stenciled and painted by Márcio Matos.
So here are just a few tracks that I’ve had on repeat and been sharing with a few music confidants:
“Grandes Invejosos” by DJ Nedwyt Fox (Cargaa 1 EP, Warp Records):
“Lumi” by DJ Nigga Fox (Cargaa 1 EP, Warp Records):
“MacoBayou” by Black$eaNãoMaya:
(For more on Black$ea Não Maya, see this Mix Mag article)
“Estudio da Mana – Escandalosas” by Nidia Minaj
I’m a big fan of 18 year old Nidia Minaj.
|DJ and Producer Nidia Minaj|
A few reasons why. “Mambos Fudiz” and “Sentimentos” on her Danger album:
All this is barely scratching the surface of what these artists have to offer.
Continuing our internet foray into contemporary Lusophone* (Portuguese-speaking) culture, we meet with Alexandre Francisco Diaphra. Portuguese poet and artist of Angolan and Guinean parentage, he released multimedia project, Diaphra’s Blackbook of the Beats on July 6, 2015.
|Poet and multimedia artist, Alexandre Francisco Diaphra|
The project is “part beat tape, part poetry and part post-colonialist discourse“(see Laurent Fintoni’s Bandcamp blog post on Diaphra, “Beats, Rhymes and Identity” for more about it).
Interesting to note that Diaphra made new connections in his formerly fragmented identity while in Brazil.
Don’t be surprised if next time you see me it’s in Lisbon getting down with all these cats.
Stay tuned for another post on this Lusophone theme when I talk about legendary Carioca samba composer, musician and singer Martinho da Vila and his album, Lusofonia.
*Lusophone countries: Where the Portuguese language is spoken. Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tome and Principe. (from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/Lusophone-Countries.html)