In April, the Bola de Crista turns into the Bola da Liberdade once again and we celebrate the night with a line-up of gems: 2JACK4U, Ana Pacheco, DJ Kolt, DJ Lynce, Enxin/Onyx, Fantasia Radical, quendera.
Bola da Liberdade
— 2JACK4U ⟡ Ana Pacheco ⟡ DJ Kolt ⟡ DJ Lynce ⟡ Enxin/Onyx ⟡ Fantasia Radical ⟡ quendera
Lisbon-based duo carrying the sacred lineage of house and techno’s earnest history as an ecstatic communal practice through hypnotic acid tones, jackin’ rhythms and squiggly basslines from analog hardware – TR909, TR808, TB303, SH101 and analogue effects. Locked, sometimes for hours, into shapeshifting harmonic, textural and rhythmic improvisations their “secretly” mythical appearances garnered them justified praise as one of the most exciting live acts working on the sprawling field of electronic music.
Diversity is at the heart of everything Ana Pacheco does. A goat herder and psychologist alongside her work as a DJ, radio show host and promoter, her musical taste is similarly eclectic. From early electronics and hypnotic trance through to oddball post-punk and electro, her sets take the dancefloor on a wild ride through the fringes of electronic music.
DJ Kolt co-founded the crew Blacksea Não Maya in his late teens, circa 2010, with uncle DJ Joker, brother DJ Noronha and cousin DJ Perigoso. Initially based in the disfranchised Bairro da Jamaica, by the time they released their debut in the form of a split EP with P.D.D.G. in 2013 on then up and coming label Príncipe their line up had coalited on Kolt, Noronha & Perigoso, as Joker’s run-ins with the law made him decide to flee the country. This stealthy trio went on to release “Calor no Frioo” two years later, offering new directions to theirs and the culture music lexicon, and started taking on remix requests for the likes of Salviatek, Yazz Ahmed and Hypna. In 2020 they published with Príncipe yet another chapter of aesthetic sophistication, “Máquina de Vênus”. As Hard Wax aptly put it “Remarkable, far-out, dark Portuguese-Angolan technoid hyper-Kuduro maneuvers”. DJ Kolt is the captain of the ship, assuming almost all of the conception and production of the music and imagery of Blacksea Não Maya, and no matter where his music takes him he’ll be signing it B.N.M. for life.
If we can encapsulate all the ramifications that come together in the musical web of urban cultures and subcultures, and not delimit space-time restrictions when it comes to phenomena of experimentation, DIY attitude, political and artistic protest, creative clairvoyance or pure computational geekness, we come across the freedom that DJ Lynce feels and expresses when selecting records. A figure that embodies non-conformism and irreverence and shatters the idea of what a DJ is or is not. I could weave from one end to the other a thread of genres and sub-variations of the musical universe we share, but listening tastes better.
Teetering precariously between discord and harmony, the prismatic distortion of Tot Onyx (Tommi Tokyo, formerly of group A) and Hiro Kone’s (Nicky Mao) new project Enxin/Onyx abandons all former distinctions for something mutable and unsettling. Their debut EP Dorothy opens with the forceful disquietude of “The Face of Others”, Tommi’s vocals cutting through the darkness to pull the listener inward, some divine
sort of subterranean madness unraveling on all sides.
Haunted voices bubbling up amongst shifting electronics, mercurial at times, confrontational at others. This constant interplay between elements of their individual practices give way to sonic experience that knows no bounds. Not surprising for both artists whose work spans across numerous collaborations, including film and dance.
Metallic and feral, murky and sharp, the four song EP Dorothy feels alive and impervious to current musical trends, making it an exciting debut for the duo who have teased a couple singles in recent years. First, for Hiro Kone’s title track “Pure Expenditure” (Dais Records 2018), a wildly unhinged song that garnered a lot of enthusiasm for the pair. Following the success of “Pure Expenditure”, they formed officially as a band, debuting their first official track “DIN DIAN”, an unrelenting and at times humorous attack on expectation, for Berlin Atonal’s 2020 box set More Light.
Two of the minds that lead Príncipe Discos and who also accumulate already extensive experience, knowledge and energy behind the plates, here in collusion of vision and driving force for dance. Fantasia is the name used by Nelson Gomes of Filho Único and the Gala Drop for his stays in the booth and the production of cosmic meshes informed by disco and house. Radical is the most recent alias of Márcio Matos, a dj and visual artist who has been designing a total language – both in his line and his choices for the dancefloor – as much his own as it is essential to the state of things. BS
quendera is a constant failure at being no one. They were born in Lisbon’s suburbian harcore punk scene and raised in the underground queer rave scene. In their efforts to upload themselves, they program. Live coding is the vessel through which these algorithms are written, materialized in ambient sonic landscapes populated by percussive mayhem of iteratively changing ephemerous chunks of code, for looping until complete consciousness dilution is reached.