"The shift is not just quantitative, but qualitative, especially given the extreme repetition of his arrangements. As one-bar loops roll on and on, your attention wanders from drum to drum, and when a new element enters the mix, interrupting the reverie, it takes on the force of argument. As any language teacher could tell you, it turns out that immersion, like that offered here, does amazing things for comprehension. You emerge from the song feeling not just proficient in batida's hypnotic language but fluent, almost telepathically so. It is a remarkable sensation."
""Alma Do Meu Pai" clocks in at six minutes—about three times the length of the average batida tune—and combusts wildly from start to finish, rattling forward via manic percussion and rhythmic switch-ups and fitting a frankly stunning range of musical ideas into just one track."
(THUMP / VICE)
Maybe it was the fact he used to be part of a dance crew with his younger brother, he can't really tell, but the raw percussive nature of his music reveals Firmeza has a finely tuned understanding of body movements. That became more and more obvious since he first learned the ways of FL Studio via DJ Nervoso and his other - older - brother. That was it for DJ Firmeza, then 11 years old, born in Portugal but of Angolan descent. This EP is dedicated to his recently departed father, a light only overshadowed by God - it is not uncommon for Firmeza to shed some tears in those special moments during a performance when things seem too good to be true.
Clocking in at over 6 minutes, title-track "Alma Do Meu Pai" is a game-changer, 3x longer than the average batida track, a deep running hypnotic percussion grid showcasing all the rhythmic flow Firmeza inherited and perfected from his admiration of classic DJ Nervoso beats;
"Somos Melão Doce" introduces plucked synthetic strings that sound totally alien in this context but with a precise emotive agenda. It's no chance;
Opening side B, "Os PDDG" namechecks Firmeza's ground-breaking crew he shared with Liofox (co-authoring this track), Dadifox, Maboku and Lilocox (both now active as CDM). The tempo is comparatively relaxed, percussion drops are stars in their own right, lending an avant-garde edge to this most tribal dance;
In "Start Go", assertive chants dance around each other, in and out of sync, securing a safe path for the heavy duty percussion workout;
By the time we reach "Coelho 2025", it's more than evident we are locked in Firmeza's own intricate web of rhythm; forget notions of kuduro or afrohouse, this is really something else, a pulsating heart linked to stomping feet in a most elegant way;
"Suposto" adds flute and clipped guitar as atmosphere enhancers, balancing the usual genius percussion work. Bouncy and intuitive, one for dancers who enjoy making shapes in the air with their hands.
released October 16, 2015
Written and Produced by DJ Firmeza
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro Da Silva
Artwork by Márcio Matos
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The Sound of Durban is a perfect introduction to a new genre that's caught the ear of many DJs & electronic music producers around the world. This style is heavy hitting but not necessarily as dark as people may seem to think - more-so intense and rhythmic. I can see this dominating late night dancefloors as well as after hours parties where you want to keep the heat going and growing. I'm eager to hear more from artists in this genre as it expands and gains more of the notoriety it deserves. Ate Bit Boy