HYPER BEATS FROM THE BAIRROS

Inside the raw Lisbon underground scene
For the last few years, a small group of producers and DJs from the suburbs of Lisbon have been creating the sounds of the future. Made primarily by young immigrants and refugees from Lusophone Africa – Angola, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe – the music fuses ferocious urgency, raw beats, and ecstatic grooves into a gravity-defying experience. The result is a fertile hybrid of African polyrhythms mashed with techno, bass, and house music – and it sounds like nothing else.*

Pitchfork’s Philip Sherburne compiles key tracks from Lisbon’s Príncipe Disco label.



THE PRINCES OF PORTUGAL

Far from the glitzy clubs of Ibiza or the mega techno festivals of northern Europe, a truly underground sound has filtered up from the outlying suburbs of Lisbon, Portugal. Brought to the world's attention by the label Príncipe Discos, the scene still has yet to be named, perhaps because the sonic vibe and rhythms differ so greatly from one producer to the next. What is clear is that that it’s blazingly contemporary – producers like DJs Marfox, Nigga Fox, Firmeza, and Maboku (to name just a few) are drawing on the sounds of their neighborhoods to create an aggressive and electrifying style of music.

WATCH THE ARTISTS MAKE BEATS WITH MASCHINE JAM

Join Príncipe Discos artists as they twist traditional rhythms into into dynamic new shapes. Check out DJ Nigga Fox here and head over to the blog for more exclusive content from DJ Marfox.
"Inside the African community, you’d hear kizomba, semba, funaná, rumba, kuduro... All those influences create the feeling of a unique sound. I don’t know if it’s a Lisbon mix or a Europe mixed with Africa. I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s something new." - DJ Marfox

FUTURE SOUNDS

Marfox learned how to program beats from his friend and mentor, DJ Nervoso. Almost without exception, this generation of producers started making tracks on FruityLoops. The software was easily available and shareable within the community of young beatsmiths, often working on the PCs of family members, at schools, or in community centers. Having been introduced to Native Instruments via DJing on TRAKTOR, many of the Lisbon artists have been drawn to the sound quality of MASCHINE and KOMPLETE. The music’s intense immediacy fits well with a hands-on workflow - grooves and sequences can be created in seconds. As Marfox describes MASCHINE JAM - "I can be a DJ and a producer at the same time".

ON THE BLOG

Head over to the blog for more revealing content about this scene, and hear an exclusive DJ Marfox track made entirely with MASCHINE JAM. You can also check out the video of how he made the beat, filmed in real-time.

VISIT THE BLOG

IN THE VIDEO

*We acknowledge that one of the artists featured here has chosen a highly controversial name. Out of respect for the artist, we have chosen to not alter or blank out the word.