Four Tet – New Energy LP

Created on a laptop computer using Ableton Live software to control and mix VST plugins as well as manipulations of audio recordings. Plugins used for sound generation include Omnisphere, Kontakt, Dexed and Arturia V Collection. 

Price: $24.00

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Jules Venturini – Whities 014 EP

Whities 014 is by Londoner and master digger, Jules Venturini. It’s a 3 track 12” of discordant choral euphoria with artwork designed by Alex McCullough.

Price: $20.00

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PROJECT PABLO – There’s Always More At The Store 12″

Following recent excursions channeling the big room sound, Project Pablo returns with a sleeker, more refined EP for Technicolour. The resulting five tracks span upbeat opener “Napoletana”; through the swirling improvised piano loops of “Last Day”; to the bumpy two-step of “Less And Less”. The Canadian producer has had a stream of quality releases via labels such as Clone’s Royal Oak imprint, Spring Theory, Lone’s Magicwire, and most recently Ninja Tune’s Technicolour imprint.

Price: $16.00

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Theo Parrish – Parallel Dimensions 2LP

2017 reissue with new artwork. Originally released in 2000. “If you’re keen to track down some truly creative house music that sounds like it indeed could be the soundtrack for a parallel dimension, look no further. This is it. That said, Parrish’s style of house isn’t just abstract for the sake of being abstract. It’s actually quite musical and brilliantly crafted.” –Jason Birchmeier, AllMusic

Price: $34.00

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DJ LYCOX – Sonhos & Pesadelos LP

2017 release. It is now possible to see a big picture. This means there is a timeline with enough years and developments since this sound emerged on its own. Lycox is of course part of a newer generation that keeps adding to the transmission, but he is already inspiring a younger set of producers. Sonhos & Pesadelos helps materialize a multiverse of bold, shiny chrome architecture, staying true to the original kuduro backbone while Lycox organizes new forms, song structures and even artificial life. If you can’t call it “raw” it’s only because this is mental space translated into sound. The physicality of the music is but one element in Lycox’s ambitious take on dance music, although we should really say pop music, such is the melodic and harmonic forces at work. “Solteiro” could be just an ambient beauty but the abnormally long four-minute mark reveals layers of masterful song crafting well outside what some might still be tempted to classify as “ethnic”. Not a classic seaside romance. Features PuTo NeLo, Puto WilsoN, and MIX-BwÉ.

“His ear for odd melodies suits his bright palette, which maintains pop intrigue while remaining unconventional, intriguing and occasionally confusing.” –Resident Advisor

“He might have the sharpest ear for melody of all the Príncipe crew, too, often prioritising catchy tunes over complex drumwork, but that doesn’t mean it’s not tough – the midsection is full of heavy bass and drums, peaking with ‘Quarteto Fantástico’, a track as bug-eyed and disorienting anything we’ve heard from DJ Marfox or DJ Nigga Fox.” –The Wire

“‘Solteiro’ is an uncharacteristically gentle and pulsating tune that feels — more than anything — romantic in its rhythm. Truth be told, it’s quite beautiful. And it follows lots and lots and lots of heretofore phenomenal music from the label.” –Tiny Mix Tapes

Price: $24.00

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Various Artists – Firma Do Txiga 3×7″

2017 release. Txiga means something like “come close” and that takes you to the heart of the matter. Although especially apparent in the tarraxo style they are so connected to, the expression reveals unbounded enthusiasm for music, taken from the roots up, wherever the feeling projects it to. And so Príncipe felt this crew had to come across in a special way. Three seven” records, one for each of the main producers represent three branches of the same tree. Features K30, DJ NinOo, and Puto Anderson.

Price: $22.00

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NIAGARA – Sao Joao Baptista LP

2016 release. Niagara started 2016 firmly committed to their own Ascender label, having released a first 12″ late in 2015. A string of stellar CDRs guaranteed their relevant (and private) output became available outside their studio. The consistency is such that it was no effort selecting four additional tracks to assemble a third EP on Príncipe. Opener “Asa” is strong on keys, suggests a cool jazz walkabout where the machines and other instruments seem to be jamming together without interference. This broadens the horizon of whoever thought they are a house band; As countless other dance tracks, “IV” is built around a steady kickdrum, supporting a succession of vibes hitting left and right, obeying only the illogical architecture of Niagara’s sonic world; “Amarelo” is the longest track in the set. Very physical and expansive beats, a funky guitar groove, deep bass tones and it ends just like that. A cascading drum machine holds its own, then comes a wandering flute and passing waves as jets in the sky. Trippy and brilliant, “Laranja” changes coordinates and points to a fresh destination.

“The trio’s house music remains deeply eccentric, though, its sonorities bright and its rhythms ramshackle. Their third EP for the label, São João Baptista, a scrawl of clapped-out drums and spidery guitars, highlights their idiosyncrasies. Sonically, the trio have found new ways to make the analogue and the electronic sit well together; stylistically, their mutant-funk tendencies are given freer rein.” –Resident Advisor

Price: $22.00

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DJ NERVOSO LP

2016 release. DJ Nervoso’s self-titled release on Príncipe.

“It’s incredible how Nervoso and many of his compatriots seem to be able to make challenging fascinating and unexpected dance music from the simplest of ingredients.” –Cyclic Defrost

“He’s barely bothered to process his hits, there’s a minimum happening at any point, and somehow the result is hard, knocking dance music that could wake the dead. If you’re getting sick of fussy production and tracks built from tricks more than ideas, Nervoso is the antidote.” –The Ransom Note

“Much of batida’s appeal is its hyped energy, but some of the deepest grooves here draw from the slower, sexier pace of tarraxinha. It’s inspiring to hear how a keen sense of syncopation can do so much with so little.” –Resident Advisor

“Much of the album operates in this modular style of propulsive, lucid minimalism. Nervoso generates drama by varnishing and stripping layers of syncopation and texture from his tracks, revealing works that have been sheared to the bone, sinew and rhythm replacing melody and flesh. These are virulent, mutant dance tracks.” –Tiny Mix Tapes

Price: $22.00

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DJ MARFOX – Chapa Quente LP

2016 release. DJ Marfox’s Chapa Quente on Príncipe. MixMag listed Chapa Quente as their 2016 April Dubstep/Grime Album Of The Month, giving it a 9/10 rating.

“Lead single ‘2685’ is a euphoric interweaving of 1990’s techno, dangerously speeding flute melodies and an artillery of drums firing like automatic weapons. Needless to say, it’s unique.” –The Wire

“Few songs feel more like being catapulted through the air at tremendous velocity.” –Pitchfork on “2685”

“Yet this is the miracle of Marfox. His ability to shift time and space is unsurpassed. We knew he was one to watch in 2011, yet now it’s 2016 and I wouldn’t dare my eyes or ears away for a minute. Something important is happening.” –Cyclic Defrost

“DJ Marfox returns to his city’s Principe Discos label with Chapa Quente, a scorching six-track affair that demonstrates just how multifaceted this music can get. But it’s his uptempo cuts like ‘Cobra Preta’ that make Marfox such a vital artist, one whose potential has only begun to be revealed.” –Vinyl Me, Please

“Chapa Quente might be modestly sized, but it’s a very satisfying piece of work. Selfishly, I almost hope that the EP doesn’t continue Marfox’s rise to global prominence. How good is this? I don’t want to hear a million producers reproducing it till the inspiration is completely sucked dry.” –4ZZZFM

Price: $22.00

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NORMAL NADA – Transmutacao Cerebral 12″

2015 release. Elusive underground metakuduro legend from the Lisbon suburban area, Normal Nada, aka Qraqmaxter CiclOFF, aka Erre Mente — every past moniker is like a shed skin he kissed goodbye — is a special kind of cosmogonical pirate exploring chemical balanced regimes of wake. Sleep and the seductive dimensions between both.

Price: $22.00

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BLACKSEA NAO MAYA – Calor No Frio 12″

2015 release. Kolt, Noronha, and Perigoso return to Príncipe with a whole EP. Blacksea Nao Maya (BNM) are based to the south of Lisbon, across the river Tejo. The crew started as a family affair with Kolt and his uncle DJ Joker around 2008. Noronha (Kolt’s brother) and Perigoso joined a year later. While Joker since then pursued other avenues in life, all three remaining members committed themselves to the game they had chosen when still dancing to the deejays they admired: be the best deejays and producers they could be. The record opens with “Batidongoo”, an earlier track by Kolt and Noronha. Tense, spanking percussion and electronic tones, sounds like slower funaná crossed with the rudiments of kuduro; we think this one opens new ground; Next up, DJ Perigoso drops “Macobayou”, a fast, futuristic batida track with plenty of drums to hang on to (or lose yourself to); “Assabakuse” keeps the pace and adds emotion in the form of clipped guitar, the actual ruler of melody in here. It becomes irresistible in no time; Side B begins by spreading pure love. “We Send This” does sound like a gift to us listeners. Closer to house in tempo, this one reflects classic African music, sure, but also a synthetic, modern type of R&B sound in its layers of ambience. Short, direct, beautiful; “Perseguição” (translates as “Chase”) soundtracks a run through the jungle, over fallen trees, branches, around big rocks and in sight of wild animals. What a ride; “Comandante Em Chefe” has an undulating melodic hook occupying the whole duration of the song. Again, like slowed-down funaná accordion and it rises clearly above the usual complex percussive layers. It later gains even more artificial tones and echoes. Alien rumba for ballroom dance matinées.

Price: $22.00

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Solitary Dancer – Lady Pimp 12″

Optimo Trax reaches no. 33, the final number in the series (although reserving the right to return at some point). The last release is a three-track EP from Montreal’s Solitary Dancer that ends the label’s run with a distinctly non-4/4 feel. Solitary Dancer on the EP: “Recordings inspired by archetypes existing within a hypothetical matriarchal society and how that may pertain to our present day reality.”

Price: $22.00

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Ian Hicks – Character Collapse 12″

So Low’s third release is a five-track EP from Ian Hicks, formerly one half of Soft Metals. Ian also appeared on the label’s Now And Then (OMSOLOW 001EP, 2017) compilation EP. Here he commands his own release and sets the synths to stun with five tracks of analog waves ranging from the XTC bliss-out of “Character Collapse” and “Depths Of Psyche” to the shockwave klang of “Chemical Environments” and “Specter”, perhaps leaving the very best to last with the ultimate hypno, sex slug groove of “Continuous”. Subliminal vocals. Wrecked drum boxes. Synths spiraling. Full-color picture sleeve designed by Katie Shannon.

Price: $20.00

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Phil Kieran – Polyrhythmics 12″

Optimo Music Disco Plates return with an EP from Phil Kieran. Phil says: “The EP was recorded in my house and made up of mostly live percussion performed live by Thomas Tettey Annang. Originally from Ghana, he moved to Belfast some years ago. . . . We used a wide selection of traditional African drums that all have their own name, each one has a style and a sound. The rhythms used in this record would stem back to South American rhythms but using African drums.”

Price: $20.00

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Ted Milton/Blurt – Ruminant EP

Blurt are one of the UK’s all-time great acts, phenomenal live and on record and supremely underrated. Blurt mainman Ted Milton is a living legend. In 1984 he released a solo 12″, Love Is Like A Violēnce, an accidental dancefloor gem. Dubbed-out stabs, programmed rhythm, trademark sax squeals, and a subdued vocal reminiscent of Vincent Price. Side A presents the A and B side of the original 12″. On the B side is “The Ruminant Plinth”, one of multiple classic tracks in the Blurt catalogue. Tribal hypno rhythms, chicken wire guitar, sax, and Milton’s voice on fire.

Price: $20.00

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