Five years on from Nídia’s debut 12”, and notable recent production and remix work for Fever Ray, Kelela and Yaeji, the Lisbon/Bordeaux-based wunderkind’s 2nd album lays out a supremely supple and crisply defined sound placing a critical, dare-to-be-different spin on elements of the African Zouk, Kuduro, Tarraxho and US R&B sounds she grew up with. Now after becoming something of a cult one-to-watch, and still only barely in her 20’s, Nídia’s sound has patently matured in terms of its emotional levity and pacing, but at no expense to the thrilling, rude angularity of her early 12” and 2017 debut LP ‘Nídia É Má, Nídia É Fudida’. Nídia’s music is now just cooler, concentrated and on-point stylish in a remarkable way that uncannily matches the mood of the times.
Showing off sharply honed melodic sensibilities and nudging her drums into singular syncopations, Nídia’s subtle but radical alteration to her sound now calls to mind beats by Timbaland, Lenky, The Neptunes or Equiknoxx (even LL Cool J) as much as her label mates on Príncipe. By stripping her sound down to its essence, rather than cluttering with FX or bait sounds, she’s arrived at a raw dancefloor blueprint that’s tough playing but sensitive, unafraid to go slow, heavy and heads-down in the club while also packing combustible peaks of excitement.
With effortless suss, Nídia shifts from an ‘Intro’ of experimental rave minimalism comparable to Rian Treanor, to a mix of Arabic wind motifs and clipped Deep South bounce recalling Virginia Beach’s best on ‘Popo’, while a trio of ‘Rap’ instrumentals tilt the game from mutant drill to 3-step sickness and a super strong nod to LL Cool J’s ‘I Need Love’. Zipped in with the a bubbling 8-bit slow banger ’Tarraxo do Guetto’ and grimy shockout eruption of ‘Capacidades’, Nídia’s cool hand on the pressure gauge keeps interest rapt until the finalé fanfare of ‘Emotions’, which surely matches the likes of Lex Luger or The Dream’s brassy mini-symphonies for emotive grip, but in a less muscular, more sensitively ambiguous way that Nídia coolly owns.