Live act at maat


Happening during maat Mode 2020, Niagara was summoned by Discrepant Records for the “Visions at the End of the World” episode in the Atypical Traditions programme.


The unpredictable Portuguese trio Niagara present their latest reimagined version of a world (not) so far away. Since their debut work released in 2013, Niagara have developed their very own personalised vision for a biotic electronic dance music whose luminous emotional fabric is even more evident in their live performances, where the trio’s qualities as a fine-tuned machine of rhythm, groove and melody are unmistakable. Throughout their career, they have alternated between producing dance bangers and fine-tuning atmospheric themes and idiosyncratic funk explorations that are instantly identifiable with the group. From sonic translations of lethargy and non-places to psycho-dynamic incursions into nocturnal and ambiguous fictions, this is an entirely different proposal from the other side of the mirror by a project that has been nurturing an ever-growing audience of listeners.


Could the world end, or has it already? Some places seem to survive in a state of suspended animation, as far-flung regions that develop in parallel harmony with the cognitive conscience of the world. The first live session curated by Gonçalo F. Cardoso, Discrepant Records’ mind, for maat Mode 2020, explored the possibilities contained in hermetic communities at the ends of the world, suggesting that such places, whether real or not, will prevail after the rest of us are long gone. In the midst of the pandemic outbreak, this episode of the Atypical Traditions programme included the 19th incarnation of Avalanche, a work in progress (started in 2009) by Carlos Casas (with guest Felipe Felizardo, 08/07–10/07/2020), and this live performance by Niagara


Image courtesy of Niagara.



Formed of Sara Eckerson and brothers António and Alberto Arruda, Niagara have been releasing their work mainly through Príncipe Discos, the Lisbon-based label, beginning in 2013 with the Ouro Oeste EP. In 2015, they launched their own label, Ascender. Already in 2020, with a new LP – Pais & Filhos –, Niagara “speak to their influences in a canny, impressionistic way in one of the sweetest Príncipe bits in memory” (Boomkat).


Atypical Traditions, curated by Gonçalo F. Cardoso, is a music programme that aims to reconfigure our idea of history and traditional thinking to shape a brave new vision of the past, present and future. Taking a no-holds-barred attitude to the past and proposing a complete reinterpretation of the future, artists from different backgrounds and geographies (Portugal, Spain, US, UK) present new musical perceptions that try to find new meanings in an everchanging ultra-globalised society. In keeping with each theme — “Visions at the End of the World”, “Lost Futures”, “4th World Wonders” and “Do You Miss the Present?” — each proposal develops an idea of alternative spaces in which visitors can travel and dream beyond the limits of comprehension.