Codigo De Barras’ is the exceptionally tight first album from Lisbon-via-Manchester’s cult batida producer P. Adrix - now operating as A.k.Adrix - an LP bursting with shockingly sharp-cut but breezily animated dancers from the top shelf of kuduro, all fire this one!!!
Making good on the promise of P. Adrix’s incendiary 2018 debut EP, the Angolan-Portuguese producer’s first album as A.K.Adrix slickly recalibrates the whirring percussive mechanics of his acclaimed early works with a richer melodic tone in eleven tight, tempered productions. It’s a significant and confident advance of his style into a more supple, melancholic form of instrumental songcraft, following suit with slicker recent moves by Nídia and Blacksea Não Maya on Príncipe with outstandingly fresh contributions to one of the world’s most vital dance scenes.
The raw electric club buzz of Adrix’s early zingers is still present, only now more refined and betraying a craftier emotional intelligence and sensuality that’s beautifully apparent across the album. From the mix of haunting choral motifs and field recordings with Derrick May-like strings in opener ‘Ambiente Spiritual’, to the album’s standout centrepiece of gently hypnotic flute arps and tumbling tabla drums meshed into tarraxho rhythms on ‘Espuma Nocturna’, or the wide-eyed wonder of ‘Desenhos Animados’ with its impish woodwind and woodblock drums; it’s a rare pleasure to witness Adrix get deep inside his sound and really come into his own.
Anyone looking for the rude stuff will get it in the more raggo charge of ‘X50’, the thumping subs of ‘Hottttttttttt’, and the martial swag of ’Settings’, but the album’s dextrous and intricately efficient push/pull of energies between the club, personal sentiments, and naturally avant leanings, is perhaps best compared with Beatrice Dillon’s stunning ‘Workaround’ in the 2020 field.