RESIDENT ADVISOR reviews FIRMA DO TXIGA

Words by Angus Finlayson

Príncipe has been showcasing Lisbon’s hybrid Afro-Portuguese dance style for over half a decade now, and its well of ideas hasn’t yet run dry. Last year’s 23-track compilation, Mambos Levis D’Outro Mundo, showcased a few names unfamiliar to outside audiences. Three of them—members of the city’s Firma Do Txiga crew—get the limelight on this new release, showcasing drastically different visions across three 7-inches.

K30’s sparse synthetic style is the most intriguing. He renders kuduro’s stumbling rhythms in cold metallic tones, and offers jolts of the bizarre: melodies that wander like drunken spiders and “Era Uma Ve(z)”‘s spatters of dissonant chords. “Hora Da Casa” and “Sistema” make use of ear-tickling water-drop percussion. The former, with its stop-start drums and icy organ melody, is the better of the two. The highlight, “Melodias Do K30,” follows K30’s techno-like sound choices to their logical conclusion, pairing the familiar stumbling rhythm with dappled chords straight out of a dub techno track.

DJ NinOo charms by more conventional means. “Ambientes Leves” drops to a slower, hip-winding tarraxinha beat, and drips with luscious melody. “Saudades Do Russel” is even better, pairing an exquisite lead line with featherlight percussion. Puto Anderson’s record could hardly be more different. His two tracks are apparently older, and the label describes them as a kind of “raw ground zero” for the Afro-Portuguese sound. Their merciless barrages of scraped percussion, whistles and shakers loop frantically for four minutes apiece, making for intense listening. Of the two, “Gritos Do Infinito” has more spark thanks to its flickering rhythms and a bewildering vocal breakdown.

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