DJs Di Guetto - s/t
Back in 2006 way before Lisbon had become the new 'cultural destination' for Art Basle refugees and those who found Leipzig too gauche, Principe emerged from the diasporic rubble of the city's collapsing economy with a 37 track statement of highly evolved, shape-shifting kuduro that sounded utterly brazen alongside the more inward facing evolutions in electronic music happening elsewhere. Remember, this was the same year that Burial's debut came out. The contrast could have scarcely been greater. DJs Di Guetto was a collective name attributed to DJs Marfox, N.K., Jesse, Pausas, Fofuxo and Nervoso, names in their own right now all well known to anyone who’s followed the Principe curve. United as a crew, the impact was notably fierce, both raw and inventive, shouting to Angolan heritage but pushing into stark new territory. I recall critics at the time struggling to get a handle on it, perhaps because they weren’t entirely au fait with kuduro or knew much of what was happening in Portugal on a socio-economic level, and attempting to make connections with grime, footwork, jungle and dubstep, none of it truly sticking. Its no shame, really, as hindsight now tells us this is music that can only really be defined in relation to itself, endemic to that city in that moment, expressive of its diaspora and their cultural histories, remoulded into something distinctively its own. 17 years is a long time in electronic music, and yet these songs - now shaved from that mammoth collection to a 13 track highlight reel for the sake of a first time on vinyl double LP - still carry the power of the new, which to the credit of those early commentators, does possess a street-level fearlessness akin to something like grime or footwork, that sense of the margins re-shaping the centre without permission. Still an endless inspiration.
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