Boomkat Product Review:
Deep, spiritual and relentlessly winding Batida and Tarraxho specials from Lisbon’s DJ Narciso and Nuno Beats - now joined by Farucox - for their 2nd RS Produções showcase with the inimitable and always-deadly Príncipe. Woozy, neck-snapping rhythmic flexes x cinematic melancholia - 100% vibes for the good of yr health.
A toast to good health after the bleakest days of the pandemic, ‘Saúde Em Primeiro Lugar’(health first) displays the Lisbon scene’s strength in diversity with a balance of relentless forward motion and melancholy vibes that acknowledge it’s still a bit weird out there. Opening with DJ Narciso’s intimate prayer for his pals ‘Oração’, which soon turns into a deep stepper, the expansive 13-track album transcends pure dancefloor pressure to work as a proper long player in its own right.
The album’s flow and emotive cadence benefits from the introduction of Farucox on a trio of highlights, with almost Drexciyan Black Atlantic overtones on ‘Taba’ and the syncopation of tendon-twitch drums to lush pads in ‘Sem Cabeça’, while the supremely weird, slow and offbeat tarraxho tang of ‘Esfrega (Ti Lito)’ shuts it down with a memorable curtain closer. DJ Narciso & Nuno Beats’ production proves no less reliable, also channelling James Stinson - whether knowingly or not - on the outstanding ‘Mitsai’ with its darkside choral motifs and electro-techno hydrodynamics, or in the tense, scaly charge of ‘Semana Chata’.
But the heavier stuff is only half the equation here. The record’s 2nd half is given to more concentrated downbeat headiness, spanning the groggy slosh of ‘Texx’ to a superb bluesy-Fado guitar meditation ‘Valentine’s Day 2K17’, pitch-bent underwater romance in ‘PrinCIPES’, and even acapella song ‘Bué de Bass’ beside the freakishly screwed raver ‘Bolor’. Seriously brimming with surprises at ever turn, it’s no doubt one of Príncipe’s deadliest releases, marking the start of their 2nd decade with relentless style.