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Words by John Twells
Click image above to listen to the mix.

Before moving to France at age 11, Nídia spent her early years in Portugal, just outside of Lisbon, and was fascinated by kuduro, an innovative form of Angolan dance music that evolved in Lisbon’s barrios. The hiccuping beats and lurching melodies of the “kuduro continuum” still make up the backbone of Nídia’s music, but she brings plenty more into the mix.

Nídia’s debut album was released this month on Portuguese club music powerhouse Príncipe, and is entitled Nídia É Má, Nídia É Fudida – Nídia is bad, Nídia is dope. This should give you some clue to the young producer’s confidence. There’s no meandering and no waffle, no theorizing or contextualization; instead Nídia gets straight to the point, cherry-picking far-reaching influences – hip-hop, batida, tarraxo, hardcore, techno, ambient – and assuredly re-creating them in her own image.

Her FACT mix is equally as singular, guiding us through a collection of polyrhythmic club bangers from across the diaspora. With clattering percussion, humid basslines and squealing warehouse-ready synths, this is music that should bring life to any party – it’s decidedly future-facing and offers an exciting alternative to the usual festival sounds cluttering up the feed throughout the summer. Who needs ‘Despacito’ anyway?

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Words by Selim Bulut

The last time we spoke to Nídia she was 17 years old, going by the name ‘Nídia Minaj’, and had only just started playing parties. Three years later and the Portuguese producer/DJ has toured all around the world, contributed to Warp Records’ Cargaa compilation series surveying the country’s club scene, and is gearing up to release her debut album Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida this Friday (June 30).

Nídia got her start in high school as part of an all-girl dance group called Kaninas Squad. The group would dance to kudoro (an ultra-rhythmic style of Angolan dance music) as well as write their own tracks, and it wasn’t long until Nídia was taking a deep dive into YouTube tutorials and learning to make beats of her own. Soon, her tracks caught the ears of Príncipe, the Lisbon-based record label who have for the past few years have been the go-to place to hear the latest sounds from the city’s suburban housing projects and ghettos.

Nídia is now based in Bordeaux, and she uses Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida to look both forward and back, with tracks like “I Miss My Guetto” simultaneously pining for her old home while demonstrating her innovative and future-facing take on Afro-electronic club music. Nídia created a rapidfire mix ahead for us of the album’s release – we caught up with her over email to find out more about it.

How’s it going?
Nídia: I’m doing good, feeling good. Always on the run.

When we last spoke to you, you were 17 years old and still in school. What’s been the biggest change in your life since then?
Nídia: I’m still at school – I’m 20 now. Not a lot of change except for the work me and Príncipe have been doing!

You’ve been DJing all over the world over the past few years. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?
Nídia: Yep, I’ve been to a lot of towns around the world. The most important thing I’ve learned was that hard work pays off. With commitment comes work, and work takes you a long way.

How long have you been working on Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida?
Nídia: It was a team effort. I make the music, and Príncipe does the rest. It took a while working out the record – I’m not sure how long.

How does the album represent an evolution in your sound?
Nídia: For me it’s clear in the music. It’s a personal goal to feel I can show my potential and evolution.

One of the tracks on the album is called ‘I Miss My Guetto’. What do you miss most?
Nídia: My girlfriends, living there, the parties. I miss being at my home.

You’re one of the most prominent female DJs to emerge from the Portuguese scene. Are there any other female emerging artists that you’re excited by?
Nídia: Yes – I’ve just met her and her music recently. She goes by the name BLEID, she’s really good, has a luminous, powerful sound. Do a search online – you’ll see that she’s the real deal.

We loved the ‘Minaj’ in your name! Why did you drop it?
Nídia: I decided to stop using that name because it never belonged to me. Everybody knows who’s the real Minaj!

What’s the best party you’ve played recently?
Nídia: At La Réunion island. Also, São Paulo was lit, documenta 14 at Kassel, and a bunch of others.

What’s going on in this mix?
Nídia: It’s got my tracks and tracks by other DJs that I like – I can’t say much, people will listen to it and will have their say about it.

What else do you have coming up?
Nídia: You can expect my new record Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida just about to drop. There’s a lot of carga and work in it, from the sounds to the cover!

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Vinyl LP / CD / Digital
Written and produced by Nídia;
Mastered by Tó Pinheiro da Silva, Artwork by Márcio Matos;
Released July, 2017;

VINYL/CD/DIGITAL: Order from us

A1 – Mulher Profissional
A2 – Biotheke
A3 – Underground
A4 – House Musik Dedo
A5 – Puro Tarraxo
B1 – I Miss My Ghetto
B2 – Toma
B3 – Brinquedo
B4 – É da Banda
B5 – Arme
B6 – Indian
CD – Kilobo (CD bonus track)
CD – Shane Hoah (CD bonus track)
CD – Sinistro (CD bonus track)

PRESS RELEASE

“One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation, compassion”, Simone de Beauvoir once offered. Nídia has embraced as much as conducted her path on earth so far by means of her senses and her acute intuition, learning from the positive and negative sides of experience, contemplating the marvel of the human spirit, ever inspired by her own curiosity for the unveiled. Her music sounds to us as the perfect expression of her attitude in life.

More than appropriate intro titled “Mulher Profissional”. It’s a shout of empowerment, setting the pace for what is indeed a highly energized album. Listen closely and you will spot production skills that are beyond the standard of dance music genres, running wild but with a definite sense of purpose. This sounds like Africa taken (further more) into the future by command of a rogue mind – we’ll save you the thrill of translating the album’s title.

The hint of nostalgia possibly detected on a title such as “I Miss My Guetto” is quickly obliterated by a sort of hunger for the future, what’s to come, but also what’s already bubbling feverishly. It’s as if Nídia is hit from every side and everything is so exciting that she just has to incorporate all manner of sights and sounds into her productions.

Tracks are kept generally short. They are strong, compact entities that announce the coming of something else – “Biotheke”, for example, soundtracks a parade of Tripods if such an event could fit the narrative in “War Of The Worlds”.

The LP ends – whenever the listener chooses – with the locked groove ‘Indian’. The CD version has 3 bonus tracks, including recent live favorite, the slow & sensuous burning ’Sinistro’.

Vinyl LP; individually hand-painted, hand-stamped copies available on Bandcamp and Portugal only.

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While Nidia’s two previous EPs and handful of Soundcloud singles painted a portrait of an artist more than capable of making head-spinning, polyrhythmic tunes, “Sinistro” debuts her more understated side. There’s not much motion in “Sinistro”—its primary parts just a looping click, unadorned kick drums, and sweltering whisper—generate an unbelievable amount of atmosphere.There are no peak or valleys, just this unchanging soundwave. “Sinistro” doesn’t draw you in not by virtue of its rhythm or groove, because it has almost neither of those qualities. Rather, the song shows that Nidia’s music, magnetic as it is, no longer needs to fit into the grid of the dance floor, and can exist all in its own space.
Pitchfork, June 2017

Many of the album’s track stand at less than three minutes in length, offering brief, but sharp shots of energy, the intensity rarely letting up. Opener ‘Mulher Profissional’ sounds like baile funk as reimagined by the Príncipe crew, acting as a fitting introduction to the dizzying heights that are to come. Those already primed on the label’s sound will find lots to enjoy in this record, while those not quite so in tune with Lisbon’s most vital current club sound will soon be brought up to speed as tracks like ‘Biotheke’ and ‘Underground’ roll through with the kind of drums so synonymous with Príncipe’s roster. The latter’s coda finds the producer bringing the label’s sound together with early ‘00s R&B, much in the same way as a number of grime experimenter did in the last decade to birth the r’n’g movement. I doubt there will be many more infectious club records than this released this year.
The Quietus, June 2017

When Príncipe’s grande dame kicks off Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida with a track called ‘Mulher Profissional’ (‘Professional Woman’ in English), you know she means business. When she includes a Simone de Beauvoir quote in the album’s press release, you know she’s not to be fucked with.
Nídia’s first full-length goes way beyond consolidating her previous tarraxinha and batida-spun work into a coherent whole. Instead, it mines an even wider variety of influences, touching on everything from boom bap and balearic to deconstructed club and hoover bass. Her unmistakable taut looped drums are still a force to be reckoned, with some of the album’s best moments built around ideas of repetition and precision, but there’s also a mysticism that wafts around its darker corners, betraying an almost devotional fervor.

FACT, June 2017

Its title translates loosely as “Nídia is bad, Nídia is dope.” (That’s “bad,” of course, in the “not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good” sense of the term.) The opening track is all swagger: Insistent horn fanfare, rattling percussion, the defiant cry of “Mulher Profissional!” (“Professional woman!”)—as defiant as a fighter’s ring-walk anthem, it’s a triumphant way for the 20-year-old musician to declare that she is all business. What follows this brassy intro is a succession of short, devastatingly kinetic tracks. Most of them are well under three minutes long, full of brittle percussion samples, mind-bendingly complex syncopations, and rapid-fire synth bursts, as though someone had tossed a brick of firecrackers onto a Korg factory assembly line. To listeners familiar with DJ Marfox, Nigga Fox, Firmeza, and other Príncipe musicians, Nídia’s music won’t sound completely alien. But much of the album is imbued with a tough, almost confrontational tone, a not-to-be-fucked-with vibe that is hers alone.

Her rhythms are unusually intricate. “Biotheke” rides a complicated drum groove that feels perpetually on the verge of collapse as it traces its tornado-like path through a mess of metal and wood. In “É da Banda,” the clattering drum sounds seem almost random at first; it’s only when the kick asserts its gravitational pull that all the elements fall into place. Stripped of everything but snapping drums and a high-pitched, hiccupping refrain, it makes for a dazzling display of her rhythmic skills. What’s most striking about her music, though, is her use of dissonance. A handful of sharp, key-clashing sounds lent 2015’s Danger EP an extra hint of menace, but here they definitively become her signature. The eerie, haunted-carousel melody of “Biotheke” sets into stark relief the tune’s clanging percussion and deadweight bass riffs. “Mulher Profissional” is a riot of tinny frequencies and stabbing motions; “Arme” bristles with needling tones, vocal shots pitched a half-tone apart, and a piercing melody that sounds like a tape being fast-forwarded.

The slow, grinding “Puro Tarraxo” is a good example of the mind-bending complexity of her approach. Over an almost dembow like groove, the sounds pile up: high-pitched, staccato vocal samples; video-game bleeps; a harsh, buzzing sound that splits the stereo field wide open. In between these hard, bright tones, a weird, modal melody dances in circles, all but invisible amid a collection of elements so shrill they could set your teeth on edge. It sometimes seems like the main organizing principle of her music is the lattice of crisscrossing lasers found in Hollywood bank vaults: Getting inside is tricky business, indeed.

But there’s also a softer side to her music. In one of the album’s finest tracks, “Underground,” her fondness for dissonance yields fluttering, guitar-like chords jumbled up with jagged synths, a balance of soft tone clusters and sharp angles as tactile as a fistful of dandelion tufts and broken glass. And on “I Miss My Ghetto,” brooding piano chords apply the brakes to runaway drums and breakneck syncopations—the rare moment of introspection from a young artist who clearly seems more interested in moving forward than looking back. It’s also a suggestion that, no matter how far batida travels, it’s not likely to forget its roots.
Pitchfork, July 2017

Since that electrifying Danger 12” she really left us hanging, with only Pra Fachar and the raucous Festive delivered on compilations in the meantime to keep us sated. Now, after carving up clubs and festivals all over the shop, she’s followed her nose and fed that energy into a battery of unpretentious, hard-hitting and bittersweet aces; a full clip of short sharp shocks designed to be flung in and out of DJ sets and light up BBQs and parties with infectiously driven rhythms and stinging, hi-tension rhythmelodies. You want highlights? Run come get ‘em in the maaaad synths of Biotheke and militant snares of Shane Noah; from the trampling force of Toma; in the hard but homesick melancholy of I Miss My Ghetto; and especially in those super succinct shots of wrapped vocals such as Indian and Mulher Profissional, and the lip-bitingly strong grind of Puro Tarraxho. Biggest tip to fans of killer new dance music!!!
Boomkat, July 2017

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Firma Do Txiga arrive on Príncipe this summer with a three-part self-titled release that gives each member of the trio a 7” to highlight their respective styles, ranging from emotive, synth-drenched tarraxhina to gravelly, almost frustratingly dense batida.

Puto Anderson provide the latter with ‘Gritos do Infinito’, a track that challenges the listener with its combination of organic and digital sounds, which ease into an irresistible groove without simplifying the hectic formula.

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