Alma Do Meu Pai (Soul of My Father) is DJ Firmeza’s first solo record on Príncipe, a six-track album which demonstrates his truly unique rhythmic focus, and is a tribute to his late father. Firmeza first came to our attention on the excellent B.N.M/P.D.D.G on Principe, though at the time he was joined by the likes of DJ Kolt, DJ Noronha, DJ Perigoso, DJ Maboku, and DJ Lilocox. The tunes on Alma Do Meu Pai are longer and feel more stylistically focussed, almost devoid of vocal samples and stylistic of his two tracks on that 2013 EP.
His music, like much of that on the Lisbon based Principe Discos label, is Afro Portuguese club music, unique sounds strongly influenced by the kuduro and batida rhythms of the former Portuguese colony of Angola, yet taken into new and innovative realms by a legion of talented young producers that include the likes of DJ Marfox, DJ Nigga Fox, and Niagara.
Alma Do Meu Pai is a raw highly percussive, quite a dense work with multiple rhythmic components that syncopate wildly, yet somehow make sense as a whole. It’s wild rollicking dance floor music with raw minimal melodic ingredients. Electronic kick drums merge with wooden snares, sticks scatter, as he melds strange skittering beats with four to the floor. It’s a heady brew and quite difficult to pin down. Strangely enough it also periodically breaks down to announce that Firmeza is in the house, as if these sounds could’ve been coming from anyone else. Firmeza likes his percussion tightly packed, with little if any space for air, it’s not music that builds or develops so much as exists as a block and it’s the listeners job to over time to discover its disparate ingredients.