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.