Niagara - Impar
Of all Príncipe artists, Niagara makes music that is most recognisable as house, but it's still far from conventional. Rough bass guitar and some freighter horns drive "Abacaxi Limão" forward at 120 BPM, but the bubbling hand percussion underneath is a reminder of Lisbon's Afro-Portugese club music scene. "Legume"'s powerful minor chords are partnered with slippery, off-grid drums and a freeform flute performance. "Arruda," which sounds like Príncipe's facsimile of a soulful Dance Mania record, uses the vocal as both a call to the dance floor and an instrument: the trio can make that snippet sound like a cheap trumpet. Across Impar, there's a broad mix of tough club cuts and milder synth jams, but all are defined by sharp flavors.
Squelchy, Troutman-esque funk tracks "Cheetah" and "Alagarta" are punctuated by more clues on Niagara's localised influences. Thick bongo slaps and dense bass notes foreground the percussive nature of "Cheetah"—it's more melodic than most of Impar, but rhythm remains king.
Fri / 24
A2 Abacaxi Limão